Exploring Almost Forgotten Gravesites in the Great State of Ohio

Dedicated to cemetery preservation in the great state of Ohio


"A cemetery may be considered as abandoned when all or practically all of the bodies have been Removed therefrom and no bodies have been buried therein for a great many years, and the cemetery has been so long neglected as entirely to lose its identity as such, and is no longer known, recognized and respected by the public as a cemetery. 1953 OAG 2978."

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

SB 106 and HB 395 Left on the Table by Ohio's Legislators at the End of 2016


HB395 and SB106 are quite similar in nature. :

As Introduced
131st General Assembly
Regular Session H. B. No. 395
2015-2016
Representative Pelanda
Cosponsors: Representatives Green, Grossman, Fedor, Ruhl, Hill, Sprague
A BILL
To amend sections 3705.17 and 4767.01 and to enact section 4767.09 of the Revised Code to establish the cemetery grant program and to make an appropriation.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As Introduced
131st General Assembly
Regular Session S. B. No. 106
2015-2016
Senator Tavares
Cosponsors: Senators Yuko, Seitz, Williams
A BILL
To amend section 4767.03 and to enact section
4767.10 of the Revised Code to establish the
Township Abandoned Cemetery Maintenance Grant
Program.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Even one of these bills would have helped with supplying some appropriation of funds for abandoned cemeteries in Ohio.  I suppose most folks don't really care about Ohio’s early burial grounds; that is unless and until they discover their own ancestors are buried in them; and if they also discover that their grave stones are either sinking out of sight, vandalized, or barely readable. 

Also, cemetery vandalism is on the rise at all cemeteries, not just the abandoned ones.  Look at Green Lawn Cemetery in Columbus which is having to reach out through a Go-Fund-Me account to obtain enough funds because of currently over a million dollars worth of damage done there due to repeated episodes of vandalism of gravestones and monuments in the last few years. 

Untold numbers of volunteers who care are working on their own or in small groups to do the best that they can to restore gravestones, gravesites, and clean up cemetery grounds, but the need is so great in every Ohio county. 

Ohio also greatly lacks strong enough laws to properly protect and preserve its cemeteries. 

Townships are dependent on levies to pass, ongoing disputes arise over cemetery ownership due to various reasons including owners who have left the state and abandoned them. The list goes on an on; and yet Ohio state government is largely absent for its part in reversing this situation that is so adversely affecting its cemeteries. 

Too much history has already been lost; cemeteries are an integral part of their communities; yet some are so lost and forgotten that even local residents don't realize that they are even there.
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From: Greater Ohio Policy Center <greaterohio@gmail.com>

Sent: Friday, December 2, 2016 3:12 PM
Subject: Re: [Restoring Prosperity to Ohio] Comment: "Ohio General Assembly: 2016 Election Review, Lame Duck, and Upcoming Budget "

"The issues you inquired about fall outside of our usual scope of work. However, we do have a brief summary of the bills you inquired about:

HB395 (Pelanda) has received a single hearing in the House Finance Committee. That took place on November 15. The bill is not scheduled to be heard next week. 

We have inquired with Rep. Pelanda’s office to find out if there is a plan to take any other form of action on the bill in lame duck (such as amending it into another bill) but as of 3pm have not received a response. 

SB106 (Tavares) has not received any hearings and will not before the end of lame duck session."

Hope this helps.

Best,
Greater Ohio Policy Center staff

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"Show me the manner in which a nation cares for its dead, and I will measure with mathematical exactness the tender mercies of its people, their respect for the laws of the land and their loyalty to high ideals."

By Sir William Gladstone 

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