Shelbyville Township met for their monthly meeting to report on expenditures, general assistance, and to approve the bills. Then the topic turned to cemeteries. And the plot thickened.
Township Supervisor Mike Holland and trustees Julie Ambrose, Mitchell Shuff, Ronald Zidek were present along with clerk Linda Halbrook, an attorney and Cemetery Supervisor Bernie Lester. They approved the agenda, the minutes, the financial report, the July bills, general assistance to the needy and work on the parking lot.
It was reported that some township roads had been oiled and chipped and there would be more oiling done in September.
When Supervisor Mike Holland made his report, cemeteries were the discussion. Holland reported that an expansion was made to Mt. Carmel Cemetery near the Clarksburg Township line.
"There was no spot in the family plot so we made another row and had Hammond & Reid come out and survey it," Holland said. "We were trying to be helpful because it was a Friday and the burial was Sunday."
Holland also brought up the disparity between buying plots if a person is a township resident or not. He reported it was $580 for a resident and $880 for a non-resident. He explained that one reason may be to protect the local cemeteries from being used to bury indigents from other counties and cities, so the price is higher to discourage that practice.
He suggested that the price be the same ($580) in Shelbyville Townships cemeteries, if someone is a resident of anywhere in Shelby County, not just the township.
He reported that there is the Cemetery Oversight Act, where the township is to charge for the plots, but recording the plots is optional. There is a $46 dollar fee to record the purchase of a plot at he township and a $59 fee to record it at the county clerk's office. He brought up the lack of old records for some plots, unless people can find their deeds.
He said that so far it hasn't been a problem to identify the owners of a plot, because there has been a record at the township or the county or people have found their deeds. Then a man, who had come into the township meeting on Monday had precisely that problem.
The senior citizen said his folks were buried in a certain cemetery and there was suppose to be more spots for family members. He did not know if the plots had been promised or not or if they had been purchased or not. He had not found a deed yet. After much discussion about why the cost is what it is for a plot, he wondered how he could find out about the family plot.
Holland and Cemetery Supervisor Bernie Lester suggested the man check with the county clerk or even the funeral home that buried his folks, to locate some official paperwork.
With limited space in some of the old, small cemeteries in Shelbyville Township and surrounding townships, it was an illustration of the necessity to tighten up the records on cemetery plots and who owns them.