Sedalia Council Hears Update from Cemetery Director Waters
Sedalia City Council heard the first of several presentations from department heads on Monday night in anticipation of a strategic planning session on Jan. 9.
At the Jan. 9 meeting, Council will review the highlights given by each presenter and consolidate them into an overall plan with priorities listed in order of importance.
Budget development will then take place, followed by budget work sessions scheduled to run February through March, culminating in adoption of the City's new budget during the last meeting in March.
Cemetery Director Roger Waters updated the Council on activities at Crown Hill Cemetery, which is owned by the City of Sedalia and provides burial service for the citizens of Sedalia, Pettis County and surrounding areas.
Since Crown Hill was founded in February of 1866, there have been 24,450 burials as of September 2020, Waters noted.
There have been 117 burials through September this year and have sold 90 grave lots and 11 niches.
There have been a total of 65 headstones and 13 military markers set through September this year so far, which is overseen by his crew.
The cemetery crew mows approximately 70 acres of grass every week during every season of the year except winter. In the winter months, the crew straightens headstones, trims trees, works on maintaining mowing equipment and clears the cemetery's roadways of snow when necessary.
Hebrew Cemetery, which has been owned by the City since 2001, has 233 people buried at its location at 2780 South Grand.
Calvary Cemetery is located within Crown Hill and is also maintained by City crews. Burials are also performed by City crews. “We do not sell the grave lots in Calvary,” Waters said. “Opening and closing fees are collected by the Catholic church and they pay us a monthly fee.”
Calvary Cemetery was founded in 1868 and there are 3,863 people buried there through September 2020.
Future plans call for plotting new areas for burials and new roads over the next five years. There are currently 2200 grave lots available to sell in the new addition to the cemetery, Waters noted. Some of them are not the best lots due to water issues and being located next to roadway ditches.
“Our roadways are all asphalt as of September 2019. We started asphalting in the roadways in July od 2013 in the new addition and moved south into the old addition, which has never had asphalt roads in 153 years,” Waters told the Council. “This has really changed the looks of the cemetery and has made it easier to maintain and safer in that we are not mowing around gravel roadways.”
“I would also like to look at creating a cremation-only area in the cemetery and establishing this area with smaller grave lots and landscaping to make it more appealing to the families we serve,” Waters added.
The Columbarium that was installed in November of 2019 has 64 niches and 14 have been sold as of September 2020.
“Another strategy that I would like to look at in this upcoming budget is an informational bulletin board within the cemetery that is weather-proof, providing cemetery policies and regulations, as well as other information pertaining to the cemetery, so that people visiting the cemetery will be aware of this information,” Waters told the Council. “This will help families who live outside of the Sedalia area.”