Town Cemetery Committee
March 6, 2017

Present: Russell Smith, Sue Haines, David Jenney, Town Manager Mary Sabins, chair Jane Aiudi, Dick Lees and a guest, Jody Kundreskas

Met at 3:30 at the town office.

We approved the minutes from the last meeting.

Grant: the King grant was denied without any reason that we could look at to guide us in the future. We talked about asking the town to fund the work. It is getting late to start this, but Mary will put it on the selectmen's agenda for Thur, the 9th of March. Some of us will attend this meeting. It would be a one time expense and is relatively small. We are asking to map 11 cemeteries which would be $23,000. The remainder of the asked for $50,000 would be to finish the project, digitalizing the data. If it were to be approved by town meeting (June 6) this would be very late to try to get interns to do much of the work. On the other hand the mapper is not young and it is not clear how much longer he will work. There are smaller grants but they are in the $5,000-$7500 range. We are currently asking the town for $40,000 for mowing, money towards surveying and marking the Cross Hill cemetery and a bit to do other needed work (fences, trees, stones).

Jane wrote up a budget request for our committee, along with a blurb about us for the town report, including photos. This was submitted to Mary.

Insurance update: Town insurance is not responsible for damage to stones; This seems to be the responsibility of the owner of the stone. Fencing is also not currently covered but could be added. Jody asked her insurance company about her as she does work for us. It would cover her and the work she does.

The cemeteries need to be cleaned up, branches, leaves etc. before the mower can work. Usually the town crew has done this with prisoners, and we hope the same for this year. Jane suggested a town cleanup day, but there is the risk of ticks and uneven ground to walk on. Plastic containers tossed in the woods are another problem.

We saw a sample of the D-2 cleaner used on the stones to remove mold and, over time, whiten the stones. They can be cleaned with just water and a soft brush but this is better, and is biologically safe.

Jody needs our permission to work and, by law, needs to make a reasonable attempt to ask permission of the owner of the stone. We discussed the impossibility of doing this in many cases. The town can then give her permission. We discussed who “the town” is and what is a reasonable attempt.

There are more signs that need to be put up, currently in Jim Ashton's basement. We will talk about this when the weather is better.

The next meeting will be April 3 at 3:30.