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, July 4, 2018

"State funds might help with cemetery maintenance" - House Bill 168

Sharing a link to the July 4, 2018 Elyria Chronicle-Telegram article entitled:

"ELYRIA — If Gov. John Kasich signs into law legislation to help offset the cost of operating a city’s cemeteries, Mayor Holly Brinda said Elyria will apply for funding.
Brinda said Monday that it looks like Elyria could be eligible for the funding, but she will have to look further into the specifics of House Bill 168, which provides local government funding to the 2,400 public cemeteries across Ohio that are managed by townships, villages and municipalities.
Inspired by the Ohio Cemetery Task Force Report and expanding upon House Bill 395 from last General Assembly, the bill updates cemetery law to ease the burden on local governments. The bill details an offer of $100,000 in grants each year for maintenance and repairs.
State Rep. Dick Stein, R-Norwalk, championed the bill as a way to honor the final resting place of Ohioans.
“I am pleased to announce that House Bill 168 has passed out of the Senate and is headed for the governor’s signature,” Stein said. “I am grateful for the support of my colleagues in both chambers to get HB 168 enacted in one year. I look forward to working with our local governments to implement these grants to improve our community cemeteries.”
Stein worked closely with the Township Association, Cemetery Association, Catholic Cemeteries and Funeral Directors Association to compose provisions to assist in better cemetery management.
Other components of the bill include provisions to allow the Division of Cemeteries to begin receivership protocols for private abandoned cemeteries and require registered cemeteries to maintain complete digital or physical records of those interred.
This year, Elyria’s maintenance capacity for the city’s three cemeteries came under fire with residents complaining of high grass and overgrown plots at Ridgelawn, Brookdale and Murray Ridge Road cemeteries.
The breaking point came last month when residents took the liberty of going over to Ridgelawn with push lawn mowers to cut the grass."
Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chronicet.com.
As Passed by the Senate
132nd General Assembly

Regular Session Sub. H. B. No. 168

Representative Stein
Cosponsors: Representatives Boccieri, Brenner, Hambley, LaTourette, Seitz, Arndt, Carfagna, O'Brien, Blessing, Antonio, Boyd, Brown, Craig, Cupp, Edwards, Galonski, Ginter, Green, Greenspan, Hill, Holmes, Howse, Ingram, Lang, Leland, Manning, Patterson, Ramos, Reineke, Retherford, Riedel, Sprague, Sweeney, West
Senators Beagle, Tavares, Hackett, Hoagland, Manning, Oelslager, Peterson, Terhar


To amend sections 1721.21, 1721.211, 4717.03, 4717.13, 4717.14, 4717.36, 4767.01, 4767.02, 4767.03, 4767.04, 4767.05, 4767.06, 4767.07, and 4767.08 and to enact sections 4767.021, 4767.09, 4767.10, and 4767.11 of the Revised Code to modify duties of the Division of Real Estate in the Department of Commerce regarding cemetery registration, to specify cemetery owners must reasonably maintain cemeteries, to establish the Cemetery Grant Program, to allow the Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors to review and vote upon certain license suspensions by telephone, to make various other changes to the embalmers, funeral directors, and crematory licensing laws, and to make an appropriation.

From Pages 57 and 58:
Sec. 4767.10 . (A) The cemetery grant fund is created in the state treasury. The division of real estate in the department of commerce shall deposit into the fund one dollar of each two dollars and fifty cents portion of the burial permit fee received under section 3705.17 of the Revised Code.

The division shall use moneys in the fund to advance grants to cemeteries registered with the division to defray the costs of exceptional cemetery maintenance or training cemetery personnel in the maintenance and operation of cemeteries.

The division may not provide a grant to a corporation or association that operates a cemetery for profit.

In each fiscal year, the division may not advance grants totaling more than eighty per cent of the appropriation to the cemetery grant fund for that fiscal year.

The division shall advance grants from the fund in accordance with rules adopted by the Ohio cemetery dispute resolution commission under Chapter 119. of the Revised Code.

(B) The director of commerce may increase, by rule adopted under Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, the amount of total grants the division may advance in a fiscal year if the director determines the total amount of funds generated exceeds the amount of funds the division needs to carry out its powers and duties under this section. If the director determines the increased amount depletes the amount of funds the division needs to carry out its powers and duties under this section, the director may decrease the amount not below the amount specified in division (A) of this section.