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November 27, 2000


Cemetery Board of Trustees

November 27, 2000          7:00 pm     City Hall


ROLL CALL – Members Present: Chairwoman Olson, Trustee Robertson, Trustee Dougherty, Trustee Grzywacz.  ABSENT: Trustee Knapp.

Also Present: Mark Hammar, Rod Hage, Nancy Polderdyke


APPROVAL OF MINUTES – It was moved by Trustee Dougherty and seconded by Trustee Grzywacz to approve the meeting minutes of August 28, 2000 as written.

                                       MOTION PASSED UNANIMOUSLY


Chairwoman Olson opened the meeting by welcoming Ms. Nancy Polderdkye, secretary with the Department of Municipal Services. Ms. Polderdyke requested an appearance before the Board to apprise the members of her progress in updating and consolidating the Riverside Cemetery burial records and deeds.  She showed the board members examples of records already entered into computer software programs (letters A through C) created by herself and Tom Alexandris, City Hall Information Systems Manager.  She stressed the importance of continuing on with this project since accurate and complete records are vital to determining past and future burials within Riverside Cemetery.  Ms. Polderdyke suggested that a quarterly update of the progress of the recordkeeping project be included in the Staff Report to the Board.  Chairwoman Olson commended Ms. Polderdkye on her efforts and agreed with her statement that families rely on the accuracy of these records. 

It was moved by Trustee Robertson and seconded by Trustee Grzywacz to support the ongoing project of transferring paper records of burials at Riverside Cemetery to recordkeeping software at the Department of Municipal Services office and to keep the Board apprised of the progress through the quarterly Staff Report.

                                                MOTION PASSED UNANIMOUSLY


OLD BUSINESS – Mr. Rod Hage, former cemetery crew leader, briefed the Board on the proposed Cemetery Bench program.  He described the type, size, and location of the granite bench which could be purchased by families for placement either around the flagpole in Block K, along the Mausoleum walkways or at or near a specific grave plot.  Chairwoman Olson noted that the Board had previously denied benches on graves at Riverside. Administration noted that requests for benches are few and that the location around the flagpole in Block K would enhance that section and not interfere with maintenance operations at Riverside. In addition, each request must be brought before the Board prior to placement of the bench. Trustee Grzywacz voiced support for this program, and Trustee Dougherty stated that she would be in support of the bench program provided the Board had final approval for placement of benches in the cemetery.

It was moved by Trustee Dougherty and seconded by Trustee Grzywacz to authorize the Administration to develop a final draft of the Cemetery Bench Program for review at the February 26, 2001 meeting.

                                                MOTION PASSED UNANIMOUSLY


Chairwoman Olson noted some typographical errors in the most recent brochure of Cemetery Rules & Regulations. On the front of the brochure the revised date should read “Revised 10/16/00”. Under Section C, paragraph 1, 4’6” is missing the foot and inch notations.  Under Section G, paragraph 4, Block L of Riverside Cemetery should replace or.  Administration noted these errors and will advise the printer of them for correction on the next lot of brochures.


Chairwoman Olson made note of the numerous prohibited items that are accumulating in Block K of Riverside. She requested that the Department of Municipal Services remove the items that are not allowed as soon as possible, and to continue with diligence in enforcing the rules and regulations, particularly in Block K.


Mr. Rod Hage addressed the Board regarding the burial of Mr. Samuel Dunn at Riverside Cemetery. Mr. Hage noted that based on his research as well as conversations with the Plymouth Historical Museum, Mr. Dunn is a Revolutionary War Veteran and may be entitled to a commemorative plaque provide by the State or Federal government. Administration will pursue this matter further to ascertain whether such a plaque is available and determine whether the cemetery is eligible for a historical marker designating it as the burial place of a Revolutionary War Veteran.


The Board reviewed the matter of the crypt/niche vase that was approved at the May 22, 2000 meeting. There was some discussion that the sample vase that was presented to the Board was not the same vase that was approved.  Rod Hage noted that indeed that was the case and that the Board had approved a plastic vase with a removable hook versus the metal vase with permanent hook that was installed on a niche in the New Garden Crypt Mausoleum. The Board instructed the Administration to acquire a supplier of the type and style of vase that was approved by the Board so that these vases can be made available to the public as soon as possible.


The Administration provided the Board with an updated pricing survey which included the pricing structure of  Rural Hill Cemetery, owned and operated by the City of Northville.  It was noted that opening and closing costs do not include the set and seal of the vault, nor does it include the graveside set-up. The costs for these services are paid separately to the funeral director by the family.


NEW BUSINESS -  The Plymouth City Commission has directed the Cemetery Board of Trustees to look into the matter of non-residents side-stepping the non-resident rate by having friends or family who are city residents purchase the graves and transfer the deed to the non-resident at a later date.   Trustee Grzywacz noted that during her tenure at the Department of Municipal Services office,  this type of transaction did occur, but very infrequently. Administration noted that the service fee to transfer a crypt, niche, or grave from one party to another is currently $50.00, and one option is to increase this fee to discourage this practice. The Board acknowledged the request of the City Commission and will pursue the matter further in an effort to resolve this problem.


Chairwoman Olson inquired as to the Memorial Brick program proposed for Block K at Riverside.  She was informed by the Administration that with the installation of the new brick pavers surrounding the flagpole in Block K, families could  purchase a granite memorial brick, 8” x 8” square, at a total cost of $200.00 which would cover the cost of the brick as well as the cost to install the brick in the walkway.   This program could generate revenue as well as enhance the brick walkway in Block K. Both Trustees Grzywacz and Robertson approved of the idea and felt that it would mirror the concept currently used in the walkways of Kellogg Park.

It was moved by Trustee Dougherty and seconded by Trustee Grzywacz to approve the Memorial Brick program as presented by the Administration to begin offering these memorial bricks to the public at a cost of $200.00 each.

                                                MOTION PASSED UNANIMOUSLY


CORRESPONDENCE – Chairwoman Olson commended the Administration on continuing to bring interesting articles relating to cemetery operations before the Board. She inquired as to the outcome of Proposal 105 in Arizona where the Tax Assessor proposed to tax private for-profit cemeteries. She was advised by the Administration that the outcome was unknown at this time, but further information would be provided on this matter at the February 26, 2001 meeting.


OTHER BUSINESS – Mr. Rod Hage addressed the Board and thanked them for their support and kind words during his tenure with the Department of Municipal Services as the cemetery crew leader at Riverside Cemetery. The Board acknowledged that his caring and helpful actions will be missed immensely by both the Board as well as the visitors to Riverside Cemetery.


It was moved by Trustee Grzywacz and seconded by Trustee Dougherty to adjourn the meeting at 8:02 pm.

                                                MOTION PASSED UNANIMOUSLY


NEXT SCHEDULED MEETING:  Monday, February 26, 2001 – 7:00pm CityHall