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Riverside Cemetery Association Hears Reports, Equipment Needs

Issue Date: May 16, 2019

Peshtigo Riverside Cemetery Association, President Mike Swiatnicki opened the Monday, May 13 meeting by thanking Leonard Ziabron for the good job he has been doing as the new Assistant Grounds Keeper. He also thanked Patsy Schneider for donating bottled water and pads of paper. Swiatnicki also congratulated Kathy Crabtree for being one of the recipients of the Peshtigo Chamber Of Commerce 2019 Richard and Pat Roland Person Of The Year Award.

Secretary Sally Witak, also commented she sent thank you cards to Marinette Automotive for their donation of a pickup truck for the cemetery. With the hiring of Ziabron, letters were sent to two of the three applicants for applying for the job and informed them their applications will be kept on file if needing to hire in the future.

In his report, Sexton John Garon reported between March 12 and 14, there were 10 burials, four of which were full burials and six were cremations, with two of them being on Saturday. Grave sales were down a little with only three sold since the 12th, but burials are right in line. Garon also stated there are four or five grave sales coming in and two cremains.

Swiatnicki asked Garon how they are doing with equipment and Garon responded, "The Gravelly is back and is running fine. The Toro had to be fixed but is now running good and the backhoe is in rough shape, being over 20 years old, but it is still operating.

Swiatnicki told Garon to let the committee know if there is any equipment he needs and Garon stated he could use a new trimmer. Swiatnicki commented, he is working with someone who has mechanical abilities that can possibly help us out with repairs of equipment also.

In Committee reports, Witak stated that Personnel needs to update the policies and procedures for part-time employment with what the pay structure is, when they are paid and how they are paid, etc. Other committees had nothing to report.

In unfinished business, updating of the electrical system was discussed with the system being unsafe at this point. Swiatnicki said he has been looking for grants to help with paying for electrical repairs and was unable to find anything. However, he did setup an account for the Focus On Energy program for possible available funding to help with the upgrade.

Swiatnicki asked if they should get quotes for the electrical upgrade and City of Peshtigo Mayor Cathi Malke said, "Since the City subsidizes the Cemetery, I would like to see you get bids. There are advantages of receiving quotes". Swiatnicki responded, "We will get quotes and proceed with what bid specs the city wants them to follow, but we will wait until I hear back from the Focus on Energy program".

With the past two winters being more harsh and longer than normal, there was discussion if the ending winter burial dates should be changed. At present the dates reflect no burials between Dec. 1 and March 31. After discussion, the decision was made to keep the timeframe as is with it only reflecting one or two burials that were delayed due to inclement weather and it is not worth changing the dates for that minimal amount.

Treasurer Nancy Holtzberger, discussed joining the Wisconsin Cemetery's Association. She commented, "There is an advantage to belong for the trainings they offer for the members. There is a training on June 7 and I will forward the information to anyone interested in planning to attend". It was then approved to reimburse anyone interested in attending for the training fee and gas milage.

Witak, advised the association she spoke with Chuck Gardon of the Peshtigo Times for printing of the updated Bi-Laws and Rules and Regulations booklets. Witak said "The booklets were last printed in 2012 at a cost of $400 for 250 books and The Peshtigo Times will honor the same price for updating the changes and printing of the booklets". It was approved to go forward with printing of the booklets after they have been updated.

In new business, the condition of the mausoleum roof was discussed. Swiatnicki stated "The roof is in bad condition and leaking".

One bid was received from Northern Home Improvement for $4,500 for full replacement of a membrane roof. Swiatnicki said, "I will get a second quote, but the membrane roofing may limit the bids received. I have used Northern numerous times and he is a stand-up contractor and does good work. I will also get quotes for a truss/ slanted roof versus a membrane roof".

It was also discussed the disposal of the old pickup truck. With the poor condition of the truck, the decision was made to scrap it out along with getting rid of any old machinery, equipment and scrap metal.

Also discussed was for placement of a newly purchased headstone on a gravesite by a family claiming where a loved one is buried. The family has a lot of documentation about the gravesite and it appears that the person was buried there.

After discussion, it was approved to give the family the benefit of the doubt to place the stone at the gravesite in question with the dimensions of the gravestone to fall within the guidelines and specifications that will be provided by Garon.

Member Kathy Crabtree offered to take care of securing donations of plants from area garden centers. She will also donate her time to plant the flowers in the cemetery by the kiosk and doughboy. Crabtree also asked if all of the winter decorations are removed and Garon responded, there are only a couple left.

With the river still flowing fast and being high, it is unsafe to fill the barrels at this time and they will be filled at a later date.

The next meeting of the Riverside Cemetery Association will be held on Monday, July 8.


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