NORTH DANSVILLE — For the past 16 years the North Dansville town board has been in charge of the Greenmount Cemetery.
During the North Dansville Town Board Regular Meeting on Jan. 9 it was clear that a lot needed to be done at the cemetery.
Councilman David Leven spoke in detail about the town’s involvement, and what needs to be done to ensure a smoother process.
Dansville has the highest number of cremations in Livingston County, and this has caused some problems at the cemetery with people dumping the ashes on the ground. People are also mailing the ashes of their loved ones in a cardboard box to Leven.
Leven said there is a lot that needs to be done in preserving the documents, maps, and updating rules of the cemetery.
“I have a list of priority items for the cemetery,” he said. “I walked into this mess 16 years ago, and I want the person who takes over after me to not have to deal with that."
Leven said there should be a direct connection to the cemetery manager, so that people will have the right information.
Prices have grown over the last couple of years, and due to the increase in cost many people are leaning towards cremations.
Funeral directors are very concerned about this, and have expressed this concern to Leven.
“There is a lot of concern coming from Dansville funeral homes since the cost of a funeral has gone up,” he said. “More and more people are getting cremations, because they can’t afford a full burial.”
Leven said many people are not following the cemetery rules when it comes to Greenmount Cemetery.
“They will take the ashes and dump them on the ground,” he said. “People are asking to plant trees in the cemetery, and are placing them on people’s lots.”
Cremations need to be placed in an urn. Many people are mailing their loved ones ashes in a cardboard box to Leven and asking to have them buried that way.
“It is starting to look like a circus up there,” he said. “People are drinking alcohol, and that is not allowed in a cemetery.”
Leven has worked tirelessly on getting things back to full swing at the cemetery for well over a decade.
The maps he has to work with are very old and brittle; not to mention very hard to read. It takes Leven a long time to find anything with the current maps.
“The maps are difficult to read and understand,” he said. “I worked for three hours to find a lot for someone the other day.”
The town board will have to go through the priority list, and get back to Leven on what to do about digitizing the information.
In other business: There was a public hearing on the Cold War Exemption.
Supervisor Dennis Mahus said that the town wants to get rid of the 10 year law that makes them reapply for the exemption every decade.
“It takes away that 10 year requirement to renew,” he said. “It is set up right now to be renewed every 10 years.”
The Cold War Exemption offers a 10 or 15 percent reduction in assessed value as adopted by the taxing jurisdiction; additional reduction is available to a veteran who incurs a service-connected disability, equal to one-half of the service-connected disability rating Cold War period;Percentage-level benefits are subject to maximum dollar limits set by each taxing jurisdiction and Exemption is limited to 10 years in duration; disability exemption benefit portion has no time limit.
The North Dansville Town Board approved of the Cold War Exemption. This will remove the renewal process every 10 years, and just make it available for veterans.
The Dansville Airport is looking really nice with the new doors, but is also in need of a new roof and hanger. The grant unfortunately was denied for this, but the town board said that they would have the funds to fix it.
The Capitalization Policy, Baldwin Contract, and Audit Report were all approved.
Livingston County is now recognizing teenagers who are doing good in the community outside of school projects.
“Livingston County wants to recognize students on an annual basis who are doing things in their community,” Mahus said. “This means that they are doing projects with their church or other organizations outside of the school.”
If anyone knows of a student who qualifies they can nominate them for this award.
The next North Dansville Town Board meeting is Feb. 12 at 7 p.m.