Brookfield Township officials have talked about creating a perpetual care fund for the cemetery for years, said Cemetery Sexton Jaime Fredenburg.
“We’re finally getting it done,” he said.
Back in 2016, the trustees made a motion to set aside 15 percent of income on lot sales and opening and closing costs for such a fund. While the motion was only good for one year, Fredenburg has been keeping track of income since then and budgeted $12,000 to cover the approximate share over three years. This money is being used to create the fund.
Private cemeteries in Ohio are required to put aside 10 percent of their income for a perpetual care fund, he said.
“Township and municipalities, they’re not required by law to do it,” Fredenburg said. “We felt that we should start one so that, whatever it is, 50 years from now, when there’s no revenue coming into the cemetery, we still have money generated from this fund that will pay somebody to cut the grass and take care of the cemetery.”promo
The fund is being created through State Treasury Asset Reserve of Ohio, a program of the state treasurer’s office.
The money is invested in low-risk vehicles and currently generates income of about 2.5 percent, Fredenburg said. The idea is to put money into the fund and not touch it for years, and then, when officials do draw from it, to draw only the interest for expenses, leaving the principal in place to continue to grow.
“It’s a program that’s safe; we’re not gonna lose the money,” Fredenburg said.
When cemetery revenue does not cover expenses, it is up to the trustees to pull money from the general fund to pay for cemetery upkeep.
Officials believe the columbarium for cremated remains that will be installed this year at the cemetery will generate a bump in revenue.