COVINGTON — Newberry Township was recently awarded a $3,500 grant from the Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing to be used for mausoleum repair.
The money comes from the new state-wide Cemetery Grant Fund, which was passed into law in October 2018 as part of House Bill 168, and is funded by $1 of every $2.50 from the burial permit fees received by the Division.
The fund aims to defray the costs of “exceptional cemetery maintenance” or training cemetery personnel in the maintenance and operation of a cemetery. The fund will award a total of $75,357 to 65 cemeteries in 34 counties throughout Ohio.
Newberry Township’s mausoleum, located on the grounds of Highland Cemetery, was built in the early 1900s. It is an active mausoleum, with the remains of 66 people resting inside and a capacity to hold about 40 more.
According to Newberry Township fiscal officer Mary Beth Benedict, the mausoleum was only acquired by the township within the last five years.
“Even though it’s on our land, a private mausoleum association had taken care of it for years, but for the last 20 years, that wasn’t happening,” Benedict said. “We went through legal channels to get it under our control so that we actually have the authority to fix it. We did that about three years ago and now we’ve been trying to figure out how we’re going to go about fixing it.”
Benedict said the repairs to the mausoleum will be completed in three phases, and the project is estimated to cost around $66,000 in total.
“This mausoleum is in pretty bad repair,” she said. “Phase one is to fix the roof, which is sliding off, and that will stop the leaking. Phase two will involve exterior power-washing, tuckpoint, and waterproofing. The third stage will be on the inside, fixing marble slabs and deterioration of concrete.”
Benedict said the township has received several private donations and has applied to other grant funds.
Midwest Maintenance Inc. will complete the project, with phase one work scheduled to begin in April 2020.
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