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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Steve Walters Seated On Riverside Cemetery Board

Issue Date: March 10, 2021

In the absence of President Mike Swiatnicki due to his work schedule, Vice President Lois Walters presided at the Peshtigo Riverside Cemetery meeting on Monday, March 8.

In her Vice President report, Walters mentioned a significant item from the January meeting was the discussion regarding the Columbarium. She said, "We are still working on things and finalizing everything". Treasurer, Nancy Holtzberger in her treasurers report announced that the auditors were in town in February and we are waiting for the audit report from them.

In other reports, Sexton John Garon noted the backhoe is being serviced by the City of Peshtigo mechanic and it is approximately 80% completed. Next we will be bringing the lawnmower there for repairs. Garon added, "Since our last meeting there was only one cremation, two full burials and no grave sales, but there are five cremations coming in and there are four inquiries from people wanting more information on Columbarium's". Kathy Crabtree noted there is a big branch down in the cemetery laying on top of a grave and Garon stated he will look at it and get it taken care of.

In unfinished business in regards to setting the price for sale of the Cremation Columbaria, Walters commended the Columbaria Committee for all of their hard work, great ideas and suggestions and also thanked Amber Polzin for creating the informational brochure for the Columbarium's.

Also discussed was choosing who would be doing the identifying plates for the Columbarium's. Holtzberger said, "We talked to Ikonik Etchings and Innovations LLC in Peshtigo. We were very impressed with their operations and I think it is best to stay local as much as possible if we can and they are less expensive than Menominee Granite". Ikonik does laser etching and cutting and is located at 410 Old Peshtigo Road in the Industrial Park area of Peshtigo.

More discussions took place in regards to the Columbarium's, including the Trifold, how to present the Columbarium's to the public, what is allowed and not allowed to be put at the Columbarium's and military plaque font sizes and what will be etched on the plaque.

To save money, the trifold will be printed off of a home computer and will be distributed to area funeral homes. An email is already set up and Polzin will be monitoring the emails for any questions, comments or suggestions from the public. The email address is peshtigocemetery@gmail.com It was decided that name, date of birth and date of death will be allowed on the military plaque and the details will be worked out with the Veterans Association of exact sizing and will proceed to discuss the details with Ikonic.

Walters wanted to stress that there will be no flowers, ornaments, trinkets or any other items of decoration allowed in the Columbarium area, other than the fresh flowers from the funeral service which will be removed within approximately five days. If the rules are not followed, the cemetery personnel has the right to remove items that are not allowed. The purpose of this is to keep a clean respectable, non-cluttered look of the Columbarium units.

There will be two Columbarium units, each with two sides. One will be referred to as A South and the other unit will be referred to as B North. Each unit will consist of a total of 48 compartments numbered from one to 24 on one side and from 25 through 48 on the other side. There will be a total of 96 niches. Each inch can hold two urns.

The cost of a Niche is $1,200 for residents and $1,350 for non-residents, which includes perpetual care and engraving. This price does not include opening. Each opening will cost $300 for residents and $400 for non-residents.

There have been comments of niches being more expensive than a regular burial, but in considering the cost of the cemetery plot, gravestone, vault and casket it is actually considerably less expensive than a standard burial.

Final discussion for the Cremation Columbaria continued as to when to submit a press release and schedule a grand opening of the units. A meeting was set to finalize the details and address the purchase price, sales, labeling and record keeping data for the columbaria niches along with any unanswered questions, construct a press release to be put in the Peshtigo Times and set a date for the grand opening. The meeting will be at 10 a.m. on Friday, March 12 at George Webb Restaurant, N2536 Kasal Lane, Peshtigo.

In other unfinished business, a letter request to buy back a gravesite was received from someone who moved away from Peshtigo and will not be using the gravesite. After discussion the decision was made to not allow the buy back of graves. That has always been the policy and they want to continue with that policy. It was suggested the family try to sell them on their own by putting an ad in the paper.

Vice President Walters addressed a letter she received from Swiatnicki suggesting to contact Attorney Dave Spangenberg for advice of how to proceed with action regarding the mausoleum roof that was not property fixed by a local roofing contractor and still leaks. The contractor never called back after several attempts to contact them for a chance to repair the roof before action was taken. The decision was made to authorize Swiatnicki to contact Spangenberg and proceed with what he has to do as directed by Spangenberg.

In new business regarding designating funds for the road fund, Trustee Crabtree advised the board saying, "A gentleman approached me and is willing to donate time and secure others in the community to help and donate their time as well, to help repair the roads. It would be done as a community donation and/or community project". After further discussion it was also recommended to get bids from area contractors. Crabtree will contact the gentleman that discussed this with her and get more information to discuss at the next meeting.

Resident Steve Walters was in attendance at the meeting with interest of possibly filling a trustee position on the Cemetery Board. There were two trustee openings and Walters made the decision to fill one of those openings as a three year term.

Walters said, "After I retired, my son got me into Genealogy and Ancestry and it sparked my interest and thats why I am here". Walters is retired from BPM and is a lifetime resident of the area. He and his wife, Kim have lived in Peshtigo for over 35 years. The couple have one son that lives in Marquette.

The Board welcomed Steve Walters to the board of trustees with open arms. With his experience of being on the Badger Credit Union (now NEW Credit Union) board, he will be a shoe-in as a trustee on the cemetery finance committee. There is one more trustee opening on the board and anyone interested in the position can contact Lois Walters at 715-582-3370 or email peshtigo cemetery@gmail.com for more information.

The board then reviewed committee appointments for 2021 including Public Relations/Fund Raising, Amber Polzin and Crabtree; Forestry and Finance, Crabtree removed herself from both and Steve Walters was added to both. Holtzberger and Lois Walters are also on the Finance Committee. Mapping Committee includes Lois Walters and Crabtree; Personnel, Lois Walters, Swiatnicki, Sally Witak and Patti Stibbe; Forestry, Holtzberger, Stibbe, Swiatnicki and Steve Walters and Columbaria, Crabtree, Polzin and Lois Walters.

Immediately following the regular meeting, the Personnel Committee met to possibly discuss and review Sexton/ Groundskeeper and Assistant Groundskeeper wages, benefits and duties. When the meeting reconvened into open session, the decision was made to post an ad in the Peshtigo Times for the Assistant Groundskeeper position.

The next board meeting will be held Monday, May 10.


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