BATH TOWNSHIP — The Bath Township Board of Trustees approved a proposed contract with Aqua Doc Lake & Pond Management Inc. to clean up a 0.4-acre pond in Byron Cemetery.
The trustees unanimously passed the measure during the June 20 township meeting. According to the terms of the agreement, Aqua Doc will provide a full-season pond management program at an annual fee of $795.
According to Township Trustee Steve Ross, licensed aquatic specialists will be making up to 12 biweekly evaluation visits to the cemetery, located at 3256 Trebein Road, as part of the pond management program. The company’s primary mission is to maintain a balanced ecosystem in the pond by using EPA approved algaecides and aquatic herbicides to manage filamentous algae, and nuisance vegetation growth. Pond colorant dyes will also be used to shade the water from sunlight and slow the rate of algal growth.
“Evaluation visits will begin in spring and continue into early fall. Start day of the maintenance season will depend on the temperature of the water,” Ross said. “There also might be added charges for additional visits because of extreme conditions.”
Township Cemetery Supervisor Teresa Phillips said she contacted Aqua Doc after she and the cemetery grounds crew noticed the increase of algae blooms in the pond. Phillips noted that rain water is the only source of water supply for the pond which is only 3-to-5 feet deep. Dale Mattox, an aquatics specialist with the company, made a professional assessment of the current condition of the pond, and the company designed a pond maintenance program that was initiated during the last week of June.
Township Fiscal Officer Elaine Brown pointed out that Byron Cemetery is a member of the Ohio Cemetery Association, and Phillips used the resources available to members to locate Aqua Doc Lake & Pond Management Inc. for the pond project.
According to Brown, the pond, which is located at the rear of the cemetery east of the mausoleums and columbariums, was originally excavated as part of a wetland mitigation program after Southdown Inc. donated a 20-acre parcel to the Bath Township Board of Trustees in December 1992.
“In 1996 the township hired Woolpert Engineering to create a master plan for 24 acres of undeveloped cemetery property. The engineers were the ones that noted the wetlands, and the township dug the pond,” Brown said.
In other cemetery business, Phillips submitted the Byron Cemetery second quarterly report for 2018 to township trustees during the July 5 township meeting.
Ross pointed out that total gravesite sales for nonresidents at the end of the second quarter in 2018 were considerably lower in comparison to nonresident gravesite sales at the end of June 2017. Nonresident sales totaled $14,400 this year compared to $42,000 last year.
However, the report revealed an increase in gravesite sales for residents in 2018 when compared to second quarter resident sales last year. Those sales added up to $48,600 in 2018 and $45,900 in 2017.
No gravesites were purchased in Babyland during the first two quarters of 2018. Yet, the report showed that purchases in Babyland totaled $600 by the end of June 2017.
“”We had 106 burials so far this year compared to 131 burials at this time last year,” said Ross.
Mausoleum sales both increased and decreased, depending on the size and type of crypt, when comparing quarterly sales during the two years. Whereas, sales of columbarium niches increased from $5,250 in 2017 to $6,300 in 2018.
The quarterly report also included the totals of other cemetery charges, such as the opening and closing of graves, copies of deeds, deed changes, footers for tombstones, disinterment and miscellaneous charges. Overall, Byron Cemetery brought in a total of $226,398 by the end of the second quarter this year in comparison to $284,413 at the same time last year.
The Bath Township Board of Trustees will meet 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 18, 1006 Yellow Springs-Fairfield Road.
Linda Collins is a freelance writer for Greene County News.