Perrysburg officials approve Fort Meigs cemetery budget

PERRYSBURG — The 2021 Fort Meigs Union Cemetery annual budget was approved at the joint cemetery meeting
between the township trustees and city council.
A budget of $497,177 for all expenditures was approved at the June 16 meeting.
Perrysburg Councilman Jonathan Smith said the cemetery was on budget.
“For the most part it had shown a loss on there, as a deficit, but usually, nine times out of 10, those
deficits turn into a surplus. It shows how much the cemetery actually pinches their pennies. They do a
good job of doing that. I think the biggest cost is health insurance for the cemetery staff,” Smith
said.
Projected medical/hospitalization costs increased from $43,428 in 2019 to $51,000 in 2020. The 2021
budget will be $47,742.
Perrysburg Councilman Jim Matuszak asked if the board had looked into getting an grants to help with the
costs related to coronavirus.
“You’re a victim of the government’s reaction to the pandemic, a financial victim. So I would think that
there would be some money that you would be eligible for,” Matuszak said.
He recommended that the board pursue CARES Act funds that the council voted on at the meeting immediately
following the joint cemetery meeting.
Cemetery board member Bob Warnimont said that they would pursue some of that funding. There have been
costs for PPE as well as working with divided crews. Total COVID-19 related costs have not yet been
determined, as per grant qualifications.
Smith’s three-year term was set to expire Dec. 31. He was renominated and reelected.
A continuation of the .32 mill Cemetery Tax Levy was also approved unanimously. The levy collects
$143,036 per year from township property owners and $226,555 from city property owners.
An owner with a $100,000 house would pay $9.80 per year. That includes the qualified rollback of 12.5%.
This is unchanged. As of 2013 any change to a qualified levy would result in a loss of the rollback from
the state.
As an inside millage and under 1% of the municipality property true value, or 10 mills, it does not need
to go to the ballot. This levy is done jointly through the city and township because it is not a taxable
authority. An inside millage is typically used for operating expenses.
A full fence replacement at the Fort Meigs Union Cemetery was rejected. Several sections have been
damaged and need replacement.
“I think we should consider ourselves lucky that we don’t have to replace it all at once,” said
Perrysburg Township Trustee Bob Mack, adding that there is continuing fence problem at the cemetery.
By city code only 10% of the fence can be replaced in a given year.
“We don’t even have the money to replace 10%,” said Perrysburg Township Trustee Gary Britten.
Potential funding with next year’s budget was also debated, given that there is a projected budget
surplus of $13,000 for 2021.
“I think what we have agreed to do here is repair and replace as we can each year,” Smith said.
The cemetery, in conjunction with the city, is still attempting to find the source of a water issue that
resulted in a sinkhole in August. It was thought to be a sanitary sewer line, which was repaired. The
hole was filled and patched, but other water related issues remain.
“As soon as (the city Sewer and Water Division) get(s) the time they are going to run a new jet head
through it,” Warnimont said.
There was also an old septic tank found on the property, which has also been an on-going problem with a
lingering smell they are trying to eliminate.