A new fence is in the works for the Holstein cemetery, thanks to up to $28,000 from the Southgate Solar fund.
These contributions are administered by the township, and council members considered the matter several times before an agreement was reached.
An agreement between the township and the cemetery board was passed at the Dec. 16 meeting.
About the same time, an interesting proposal came forth through a severance and land transfer to create a new “green burial” site. There is also a scattering gardens area.
One of council’s questions was whether the cemetery was open to all in the community, and they heard that it was.
The approved agreement states that the board will manage and bear operating costs for the cemetery. It also opens the possibility of Southgate promoting and selling plots and columbarium niches for the board.
Southgate Township took over the Maplegrove Cemetery outside of Dundalk on amalgamation and owns and operates it.
The 10-year renewable agreement also says the township will consider capital projects for approval for municipal funding.
Chair Brian Stevenson appeared before council on Nov. 4 but the money had been requested in October of last year when the township accepted requests for funding from community.
At the time, council heard that the township already provides a cemetery service, and also that there are numerous private cemeteries in the township and this might be a precedent.
The board responded that the cemetery provides the benefit of a needed and important community service, and that the Dundalk cemetery did not meet the needs of residents in the Holstein area.
After asking for a staff report, council decided on Dec. 2 to approve moving forward with an agreement.
The cemetery originally was known as Reid Cemetery, after William Reid, who conveyed the land to the trustees of the Presbyterian Church. The first burial took place in 1868. That area was an acre and in 1935 one half-acre was purchased.
At that time a new fence was put up and the name on the gate was changed from Reid’s to Holstein.
The cemetery is located at the corner of Road 14 and Sideroad 41.
In the last year, the township has agreed to act as trustee for cemeteries in Bethel and Walker, a role which does not require a contribution of funds
M.T. Fernandes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Dundalk Herald