BATH TOWNSHIP – Bath Township is proceeding with plans to make a number of upgrades to Byron Cemetery in 2018.
Township Cemetery Supervisor Teresa Phillips presented a list of proposed projects to complete at the cemetery, which is located at 3256 Trebein Road, to the board of trustees at the beginning of the new year.
The cemetery grounds crew started this month with the removal of a large pile of concrete in the cemetery, which now clears the way for final preparations of section 15. Phillips told trustees that she had consulted with Steven Chaney, health and safety manager at Fairborn Cement Plant, regarding the removal process that involved using excavating equipment owned by Vectren. She anticipates that cemetery plots in this section will be available for purchase later this year.
“That is our goal. We need to put some fill dirt in that section, and I am hoping we can open up that section for sales midyear or a little later,” Phillips said during an interview this week.
The grounds crew is currently waiting for temperatures to rise and weather conditions to improve to install a new columbarium on a slab that was poured in September just south of the two existing mausoleums. In July, township trustees unanimously approved the purchase of a second columbarium from Dodds Monuments for $24,278. According to Phillips, the purchase price includes both the crane cost and installation on site.
Phillips’ master plan also includes landscaping the barren areas around the existing columbarium, which is located north of the mausoleums, and where the new columbarium will be erected. In September, the township trustees approved the purchase of two Cleveland pear trees that were planted east of the rose mausoleum. Phillips proposed pouring a concrete slab approaching the mausoleum that would make access to the building easier for visitors. She also suggested installing concrete curbing in certain areas of the cemetery that would act as borders and help deter visitors from parking their vehicles on the cemetery grounds.
The township is also preparing to open section 17 in the cemetery in 2019. However, Phillips pointed out that this section would be located next to a dirt barn, which would create muddy conditions near the new gravesites and an issue with dirt and mud being tracked onto the roadway.
Phillips suggested three possible solutions to the problem. First, she proposed converting the dirt barn to a storage shed for equipment and salt and building a structure to store dirt in the southeast corner of the cemetery. She also suggested screening the dirt barn from the roadway by planting evergreens along the south side of the barn. Another possible solution to the problem consisted of erecting a white fence along the west side of section 17, which would help keep debris and dirt off the gravesites. Township officials said they would discuss the possible solutions further.
The Bath Township Board of Trustees will meet again in regular session at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 31, 1006 Yellow Springs-Fairfield Road.
Linda Collins is a freelance writer for Greene County News.