Royalton Township cemetery gets a second look

By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

ST. JOSEPH — Royalton Township is looking to expand one of its cemeteries.

Trustees voted Monday to hire Merritt Engineering for the planning and design process of restructuring a 4-acre field next to its Spring Run Annex.

“We have been selling lots out of the last section of the Spring Run Annex and there are very few left in the prior section,” said Township Manager Steve Tilly. “We may have to look at that back four-acre field.”

The Spring Run Annex is closest to the 4-acre field and is on the north side of M-139, across from the First Methodist Church. The township also has the Spring Run Cemetery, which is on the south side of M-139 behind the First Methodist Church.

Tilly said the township received three bids, from Merritt, Abonmarche and Wightman & Associates Inc.

“We did talk about adding a columbarium and where we would put it,” Tilly said. A columbarium is a structure to house funeral urns.

Merritt provided the lowest bid of $2,450. Abonmarche offered $2,500 and Wightman bid the project for $7,000.

Tilly said Wightman’s price was much higher because the bid included more detailed work outside of the site’s layout. The layout process includes plotting each burial site and where the roads will go through the land.

During the board’s discussion, Trustee John Olson abstained from the vote because he is president of Merritt Engineering.

“We have additional property off one of the cemeteries,” said Supervisor Robert Basselman after the meeting. “It’s not developed at all. We were afraid to just start putting down markers for tombstones and plots. We decided to go with an engineering firm to lay it out for us.”

Contact Tony Wittkowski at twittkowski@TheHP.com or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter: @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on Aug. 10, 2016)
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