BATH TOWNSHIP — The Bath Township Board of Trustees is meeting the growing demand for cremations by adding an additional columbarium in Byron Cemetery, 3256 Trebein Road.
In a 3-0 vote, township trustees approved the purchase of a second columbarium from Dodds Monuments for $24,278. Bath Township Cemetery Supervisor Teresa Phillips told township trustees that the purchase price of the columbarium includes both the crane cost and installation on site. However, the township will supply the concrete footer.
“We estimate the price for the foundation to be around $1,000,” Phillips said. “We will also be improving the site around the current columbarium, extending the sidewalk around its perimeter.”
According to Phillips, the 8-foot high columbarium will be located on the south side of the two mausoleums that are near the rear of the cemetery. The structure will be a replicate of the current columbarium that was purchased in 2003 and is erected on the north side of the mausoleums.
The columbarium will have 96 individual niches, eight niches wide and six niches high on each side. Each niche is designed to accommodate two urns, and the polished Carnelian granite front will have ample space for a bronze memorial plaque that will include the name, date of birth and date of death of the deceased. The columbarium will also be bordered in polished moonlight gray Rockville white granite. Phillips anticipates that the project will begin in August and will be completed by early fall.
“The popularity for cremation has grown significantly and the availability in our current columbarium is decreasing. Thus, we are seeing the need for additional spaces in the near future to meet the needs of those choosing cremation as an alternative to in-ground burials,” Phillips said. “The biggest reason cremation is becoming popular is the cost. Cremation is a lot less expensive all the way around.”
The township has also opened up two new sections in Byron Cemetery this year, and the cemetery staff has poured footers for 115 gravesites since spring.
“We have also done 135 interments to date, which is up from 98 this time last year,” Phillips said. “Byron Cemetery is a frequently visited cemetery. We have some people who visit on a daily basis, and they take a lot of pride in memorializing their loves ones. We respect that and work very hard to keep the cemetery looking its best. As the cemetery grows, the maintenance only increases which keeps us very busy.”
The Bath Township Board of Trustees will meet again in regular session at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 19, 1006 Yellow Springs-Fairfield Road.
Linda Collins is a freelance writer for Greene County News.