Projects in Progress
There are several things going on around the cemetery. As most of you likely know, the Kiosk that will house the burial maps and charts for the cemetery is about half way completed, and completely under roof. This has drawn much curiosity as to what it is, but its visibility will only benefit its final purpose. Long term, as funding permits, we would like to have an electronic data terminal for locating grave sites. We have the data, just not the software or equipment to use it in this manor.
We are also reviewing bids for the replacement Zero Turn Mower. We have three that are being used, and we try to cycle in a new one every year to cut down on maintenance. We actually use the mowers about 5 years, as they cycle through the airport and street barn following use at the cemetery. Last year we did not replace one. The new mower is budgeted for in the CIP. While we are not projecting using it for a few months, we always try to buy them just before the end of the year to take advantage of typical year end and off-season savings, plus beat the price hike typical of a new year.
Gates at the Cemetery
This has been in discussion on and off since July of 2009. There has been $3,000 budgeted in the cemetery CIP for gates. There are five entrances into Oakland Cemetery, three of which would likely be considered primary entrances. As we have experienced ongoing vandalism over the years in the form of tipped over grave stones, illegal dumping, theft of flowers and urns, damage and spray painting to the building, there is concern that the new flags, and kiosk will attract more potential vandalism. The plan for the gates is to have three points of egress open 7 days per week, until at least 8 p.m., and probably later on Memorial Day weekend.
As there is no longer a through road in the Cemetery, the only access to the animal shelter, there shouldn’t be any need for people to access the cemetery after dark. I think the gates will be not only a beneficial security measure, but an attractive feature as well. By building the gates in-house, we are saving a significant amount of money. We currently have one gate nearly built, which the crews will be installing and testing soon. I wanted to try out the first one and iron out the bugs before building a second and third one.