Jeffrey Cullen-Dean / The Newnan Times-Herald
Marion Cieslik addresses Grantville City Council about the lack of funding for the Cemetery Trust.
Marion Cieslik, president of the Grantville Cemetery Trust, is concerned about the trust funds.
Cieslik expressed these concerns during the Grantville City Council working session on Monday, October 11.
After the cemetery‘s retaining wall was built in 2018, around $ 5,000 is left in the trust fund, he said, which is not enough to repair damaged graves and deal with overgrown trees. vegetation on individual plots.
According to Grantville’s Code of Ordinances, it is the family’s responsibility to maintain a loved one’s land if the grave is damaged or has too much vegetation.
But Cieslik asked who should maintain the plots of people without living families in the area.
This is where the Cemetery Trust should come in, he said.
The retaining wall cost more than $ 79,000, said Grantville City Manager Al Grieshaber, and the money was transferred to the city by Donald Olmstead, who was a trustee, because he “felt like of having reached the age when he could no longer be responsible for the money. He had done a good job collecting them, but since he was the only administrator, he felt that the city could manage the money better. ”
Following the transfer, Mayor Doug Jewell, Councilor Ruby Hines, Rodney Mowery, Cieslik and Ann Tucker were appointed as directors.
Cieslik said the city of Grantville is required to put money into the trust fund, which he says did not happen.
Chapter 35, Article II, Section 35-49 of the Grantville Ordinances Code states: “It must be allocated as an element of lien in the fiscal budget of each year that four-tenths of a thousandth of property tax be allocated to the cemetery trust fund. can never exceed $ 5,000 in a fiscal year.
However, Grieshaber said the city pays a contractor $ 1,100 per cut of grass to maintain the cemetery, and the total payments for this maintenance exceed the $ 5,000 the city is required to pay into the trust fund. .
Payments for lawn maintenance, Grieshaber said, replace the deposit of money in the fund.
âThe cemetery trust fund does not have enough money to properly maintain the Grantville cemetery,â he said.
This is something Cieslik agrees with.
âWhat the cemetery trust needs to do right now is maintain the integrity of what the trust is supposed to do – and that’s take care of the cemetery,â Cieslik said. “We need our ($ 79,000) in return.”
According to Cieslik, the money from the sale of the cemetery plots should be added to the cemetery trust, however, Grieshaber said the money from the sale goes into the general city fund.
Cieslik said the cemetery trust needed funds to hire a specialist with ground penetrating radar to confirm the possibility of burying Confederate soldiers and slaves in two different sections of the cemetery.
Grieshaber recommended that the Cemetery Trust use donations and fundraisers to top up his bank account. The initial money for the trust was raised through donations and fundraising, he said. Some small donations of $ 50 to $ 200 have been made to the fund since 2018, and by May 2020, the fund had accrued more than $ 100 in interest.
âThe money was really built up through donations to the cemetery trust – and I’m talking about the $ 79,000,â Grieshaber said.