Cemetery board brings dust issues to supervisors
By MEGAN COOPER
Mt. Pleasant News
Burge Cemetery outside of New London has been facing dust issues for the past few years.
“People are getting covered in dust, and not just their shoes,” said Chuck Knoll, who is part of the Burge Cemetery Commission, during Thursday’s Henry County Board of Supervisors meeting.
The commission wants to have the roads fixed, in order to help control the dust. They are mainly looking at Oasis Avenue, which holds the entrance to the cemetery.
“We wouldn’t mind having it paved, but we know that it’s expensive. We could always sealcoat if that is an option,” said Donald Johnson, another member of the Burge Cemetery Commission. “We have been in talks with you for awhile about this, and just want to know what the status is.”
Gary See, chairman of the board, responded to Johnson by saying, “Honestly, we haven’t done much because we had a change in engineers and he has been busy this past summer. He doesn’t know much about it.” See was referring to Jake Hotchkiss, who is the Henry County engineer.
“I don’t know much about it, but what I do know is that when you propose surfacing projects I have to look at the system and see how it fits. I have to see what the maintenance of that would be and right now, we are going to be facing an almost $3 million project in 2016 to redo Winfield Avenue. Money is the issue,” said Hotchkiss. “In regards to sealcoat, I would be leery about that considering the truck traffic with crops. It just won’t hold as well. I really would have to get out there and analyze everything in order to see if that project could fit into our system.”
“Another issue we (the county) would have is if we do something with your roads, then other cemetery associations would want us to do something to theirs, we just have to do what we can,” See told Johnson.
The City of New London isn’t responsible for Burge Cemetery as it’s not in the city limits and it’s considered a private cemetery, the commission had stated to the board. “We just wanted to make a legitimate claim and hopefully someday something will get done,” said Paul McPheron another member of the cemetery commission.
“We will keep at it,” Johnson finished.
The department heads gave updates from their offices during the meeting as well, most were business as usual.
“We spent most of the time working on the FEMA projects,” said John Pullis, executive director of the Henry County Conservation. “Most of the paperwork is done, we are signing the last one today (Thursday). Most of the projects will be covered, but in regards to the footbridge, the only parts that will be covered are the limestone piers. It will cost around $145,000 to fix and we are responsible for $15,000 of that, so it’s a good deal. We just have to hope there are no floods, as we won’t start work on that until spring.”
Rich McNamee, Henry County sheriff, informed the board, “We booked in 79 people last month. This month, we’ve been busy because we have booked in 24 already, and it’s only been six days. We also have six bids in for the storage shed project and the last day to bid is tomorrow (Friday). I will bring those in next week and we go over them. We have had two major drugs and weapons busts in the last couple of weeks. One of those took place in town and the other one in New London. Van Buren County has been assisting with that. We have four defendants and 21 felony charges. I’m proud of our staff and Van Buren’s staff, it’s momentous what they have done.”
Hotchkiss told the board he had a mechanics position open that he will post in a couple of weeks. This position is open because the previous mechanic retired.
“They had a tie in Salem for mayor and so Tuesday morning, during the canvass of votes, you (the board of supervisors) will have to draw to see who the mayor is,” said Shelly Barber, Henry County auditor and commissioner of elections during the meeting.
The board finished the meeting by approving the contract by BGTCC, of Mt. Pleasant, to do the snow removal of county parking lots in town. Their contract will be for two years and it will cost approximately $75 per lot, and there are four sites. BGTCC was the only snow removal company to submit a contract for the snow removal.
The Henry County Board of Supervisors will meet again Tuesday, Nov. 12, at 9 a.m. in the boardroom at the Court House.