All necessary steps have been taken, and the city of Olney will now officially take over maintenance at Pioneer and Restland cemeteries. The City Council met Monday, Sept. 23, and answered a few of the concerns expressed by members of the Cemetery Board.
"We appreciate everything the City Council has come up with to help us at the cemetery," Rick Clarida, Cemetery Board chairman, said. "This really takes a weight off our shoulders."
He noted that complaints have begun to lessen, and that things are starting to look up. Clarida said the Cemetery Board met and agreed to purchase a ZTR John Deere mower and a good Stihl weedeater for the city to use at the cemeteries, and will purchase a second weedeater in the spring.
On behalf of the board, Clarida then asked the council if the city would continue payment $600 per month to the Cemetery Board, as it has been to help with maintenance for quite some time. He also inquired about whether the Cemetery Board would continue to be responsible for parts, supplies and upkeep of the equipment that has been purchased.
After some discussion, council members voted to change that aspect of the ordinance to remove the $600 payment and instead would take on the upkeep of the equipment purchased by the Cemetery Board.
Clarida asked later who would be responsible for writing a letter to the previous caretaker and all other contractors who have been privately hired to care for lots at the cemetery advising them to remove all stakes and other markers not allowed at the cemeteries according to city ordinance.
(For more of this story, check out this week's edition!)