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Weston Cemetery refurbishes archway gate PDF Print E-mail
Written by BILL RYAN Sentinel Staff Writer   
Thursday, 03 October 2013 09:54
Jeff Hathaway, far right, Charlie McAnally, center, Chad David, lower left, and Tyler Getz put the finishing touches on a brick entrance that they built to the Weston Cemetary. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
WESTON - Despite some severe storms which felled numerous trees and branches in Weston Cemetery, the village's cemetery board has been working very hard to enhance the facility.
Two of the major improvements include a memorial tree park and the refurbishing of the signature archway gate, which was restored and replaced earlier this month.
"We've been talking about a memorial tree park for several years," said Cindy Lewis, the cemetery board's chair.
Though the program for the tree park began last year with the trees being acquired through North Branch Nursery, the wind and storm damage put a crimp in the board's budget.
She indicated the board's budget of $35,000 for the year was already spent just in maintenance and repair, through August and early September.
Jodie Domer, the clerk for the cemetery echoed Lewis' assessment of the budget.
"These storms really knocked out most of our budget," Domer said. "It really set things back."
Because of budget restraints, Domer indicated they may have to work on the improvement through the tree project in more phases than originally planned.
The board has 40 to 50 trees along Center Street which are part of the memorial package. Those trees were planted last year and are being sold as memorial trees.
"It would be wonderful if that got sold out," Lewis said. "We still have lots of option to plant throughout the cemetery."
Both women noted they would ideally like to expand the tree project to other areas.
Because of the various wind and storm damage, those plans are being tempered.
One of the major expenses was the removal of what Lewis called "an enormous tree" which had been measured to be evaluated as a century tree. The cost for the removal of that tree alone was probably $10,000 she said.
Despite the numerous trees which fell victim to the storms, Lewis said there were no serious casualties to any of the monuments or stones on the graves.
"We were fortunate that none of the older monuments sustained unrepairable harm. Some are just perched on the pedestals or shuffled over," she said. "I don't know of anything that was knocked over or damaged that required an insurance claim."
Domer noted the tree project was designed to restore the original goal of creating a "park-like" atmosphere in the cemetery. She said previous attempts included both a bridge to an island and a fountain. Both fell to wear and tear over time as well as vandals.
The memorial tree park is a way to enhance the cemetery.
"This is the way we believe we have to handle this so it is less inviting to vandalism," Domer said.
As for the gate, Lewis said they were "looking for a focal point" for the cemetery. The gate had been moved over the years, and it "looked like it was a gate to nowhere."
Lewis said Tim Getz of K&K Construction in Weston stepped up to the plate to assist with the gate project.
"No public money was spent on this at all," Lewis said of the investment in the gate.
The board had inherited money from the estate of Mildred Nichols roughly 10 years ago, and "sat on it" waiting for the right project for the money.
Due to the historical value of the sign and arc Getz also recognized its value and Lewis said he knew they were on a limited budget so he donated much of the time along with all the brick involved in the refurbishing and reinstallation of the sign.
"He provided all the brick and the iron work is being done by him and the company," Lewis said.
Domer added despite the generosity of Getz, there were still some costs which came out of the donation which had been set aside.
The work involved the metal being sand blasted to remove dents, nicks, etc. Lewis added noted Getz' father-in-law installed that gate originally many years previously.
Domer suggests visiting the village's website to participate in the memorial tree project.
Online: www.westonohio.org/
Last Updated on Thursday, 03 October 2013 10:30

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