Arkport talks cemeteries, equipment, and water project

February 16, 2022

By Jasmine Willis

ARKPORT — The village board met to discuss the cemetery, water project and equipment at the regular board meeting on Feb. 15 at 7 p.m.

Tom Hunt, cemetery worker gave a full report on the cremation and burial process at Heritage Hill Cemetery.

The village board talked about raising prices for lots, cremation, and pet burials. Hunt said the cremation burials are the money maker for the village, since more and more people are going with the cheaper option of cremation.

“If we rase the prices we are still cheaper than everyone else in the area. The cremations are a big money maker for us. I think we should bump the prices up since it takes me about two hours to dig the hole,” Hunt said. “We have about 100 lots still available. We have some that are just for cremations. Sometimes when I do cremations there are two people being buried at once. We don’t charge for the double, and I think that needs to change. Since I was digging the hole for one there was no reason not to just put the other one in the same hole. We have been giving a lot of breaks to people. I think if we are doing a cremation burial with two people in the same hole they should pay for the other person.”

Hunt talked about pets being in the cemetery too. Pets are sometimes buried with their humans in the same lot. This is legal in the state only if the pet is cremated. Sometimes the pet’s urn will be buried in the casket or if both are cremated in the same lot.

The village board discussed increases in the prices and rules for the pet burials. It was determined the costs would go up a bit for everything. It was also determined that a pet would cost the same price as a human burial. The pets can only be buried with a human, but can’t be buried alone in the cemetery.

Hunt mentioned there are some hard spots to get to on the hill with the equipment, and this makes more work for him for the burials. There are some lots in the cemetery that are designated for cremation only.

“We went a really long time with no adjustments. It is time to address these changes now,” he said. “It costs two hours of my time to do dig the hole for full burials and cremations. We are going to make better money off the cremations.”

The village board approved new rates for the cemetery fees that will go into effect by April.

Arkport DPW Superintendent, Logan Sliter mentioned the school should start paying for the salt and sanding being done on their property. For a long time, the school has gotten this service for free. Since the price of salt is high it would be in the best interests of the village to charge them.

Sliter added that the water meters are outdated in the village and should be changed over. He would also like to move ahead with paving East Avenue to Meadowbrook Bridge.

The village board discussed the possibility of no longer having a crossing guard since students take the bus or ride with parents to school. There has been a lack of need for this service since only about four students walk to school.

In other village business the board talked about equipment and water project bills.

The village board made a resolution to authorize the acquisition of two plow trucks to be used by the village.

A wish list was made for the upcoming budget to get a commercial grade fold machine, new bulletin for outside, a turbine meter for the main water pump, and new water meters for the village.

The Arkport Public Library will soon be in purchase of their own building, and it will no longer be owned by the village.

The village board discussed and approved Mayor Tom Dugo being the mediator for the village on the water project bills. There is a grant that needs to be used up affiliated with the water project and other business pertaining to the project.

Arkport Trustee John Hedges said he will miss everyone on the village board. He is not seeking
re-election this March. He said he is mostly proud of the water project and Main Street project that has happened in his time on the board. Hedges has devoted 14 years of service to the village.

“I truly enjoyed it. I am glad we got all the grants for the water project, which cut our cost down a lot. I will miss working with everyone. Looking back on what we accomplished is amazing,” he said. “I grew up in this village. It is a great place to raise a family. I will still help with grants if the board needs me.”

Arkport Village Hall will have Covid Rapid Test kits available during normal business hours. Anyone can come down and grab a kit with four tests and six masks. The hours are Mon. to Thurs. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The profits for the month of January are as follows; General Fund income, $158,706.65 and expenses $18,637.13; Water Fund income, $2,420.31 and expenses $17,626.93; and Capital Fund expenses were $21,142.50. The abstract vouchers for General Fund, Water Fund, and Capital Fund all totaled to $57,406.56.

The next village board meeting has been changed to March 22 at 7 p.m. There will be a budget workshop on March 8 at 6 p.m. and a budget hearing on March 22 at 6 p.m.