Although it has taken longer than anybody wanted, Brookfield trustees have placed an order for a columbarium that will be installed in Brookfield Township Cemetery.
The columbarium, which will hold cremated remains, will be bought from Coldspring USA for $42,690. Two other bids were $54,436 and $76,625.
The columbarium will have 124 niches to hold cremains, and be built in a Romanesque style with stone colored Mesabi black and moonlight gray. It will stand 8 feet, 10 inches tall, and measure 6 feet wide and 8 feet long.
Cemetery Sexton Jaime Fredenburg said the columbarium won’t be placed in the cemetery until next year. He had set aside $20,000 in the cemetery budget for the purchase, and the trustees earmarked $22,000 in a grant from AEP Ohio Energy and the Strimbu, O’Brien and Kirila foundations.
Trustee Dan Suttles apologized for the decision taking so long, but noted he wanted to be assured that the extra costs associated with the columbarium – including the foundation, landscaping and a concrete walkway – also would be covered.
promoFredenburg, who estimated additional costs at $15,000, and township Fiscal Officer Dena McMullin went over areas in the cemetery budget, including line items such as improvement of sites, new buildings and additions, vested sick leave and unemployment compensation, that have money available for the project.
“You’ve convinced me that we have enough money to do this and we’re not gonna get caught where we’re gonna be out of pocket from the general fund,” Suttles said. “That was my concern.”
Now that a decision has been made to purchase the columbarium, officials need to come up with a policy and fee schedule for the columbarium, a landscaping plan, and a layout plan for the new section of cemetery where the columbarium will be placed.
“You’re looking at mid-summer of next year, if we move on it now,” Fredenburg said at the Oct. 8 meeting.” We’re gonna have to have all that in place by then. You can start selling in advance, but I think we should wait.”
“I think it’s important for us, for the future, long after we’re gone, that your setting is nice, versus it just being an open field and placing gravestones,” Trustee Ron Haun said. “I think we have the opportunity to set the example here for down the road, for whoever is sitting in these seats, that that plan’s in place so it becomes more of a solemn setting for people for when they go there and visit their loved ones.”