Several voiced concern for the condition of the Suffield Township cemeteries at the August 11th Trustee's Meeting. There are three cemeteries that are maintained by the township: Kent Corners on Martin Road, Eastlawn on Waterloo Road and Meacham-Upson on Trares Road. Of special mention was Eastlawn Cemetery. This cemetery is especially noticeable due to the fire damage and deteriorating condition of the historic church that stands beside the cemetery. While the Township spends a substantial amount year each to have these cemeteries mowed, nature still does take its course. Brush around the edges of the cemeteries has become a problem. One solution, suggested by Vicki Vincent, was that there be a "community clean-up day" where volunteers could cut away unwanted brush and haul it away. It was suggested that a committee of those concerned be formed to bring this clean-up to a reality. More discussion is sure to be had at upcoming Trustee's Meetings.
More concern for the Suffield Township cemeteries was voiced at the Trustee's Meeting on August 25th. Trustee Chairman Thomas E. Calcei recommended that a committee be formed to look into the cemetery situation and make recommendations on what should be done. Ed and Vicki Vincent were put in charge of this committee and tasked with finding volunteers for the committee. Ed Vincent asks that anyone who has an interest in helping, call him at 330-323-0343.
With the formation of a "Cemetery Committee", there area number of issues that need examination. Does the committee concern itself with just a short, one-time clean-up of Eastlawn Cemetery, or all three cemeteries? Should this committee formulate suggestions and plans for a more long-term approach? Would it be in the best interest of current Suffield Township residents if the township were to buy property (or accept donated land) to create a new cemetery? With the township's fiscal resources stretched to their limits already, what is the best way to return the current cemeteries to an acceptable level, and what would be the most cost effect way to maintain them into the future? Like some other places do, is a small continuing levy needed to fund cemetery maintenance? Lots of questions. Call Ed, he'd like to have your opinion and/or help.
Again at the September 8th Trustee's Meeting this topic arose. Vicki Vincent reported that she has found no one willing to be on the "Cemetery Committee", but she did find about a half dozen people who would be willing to come out for a one-time clean-up day at the Eastlawn Cemetery. No date for this has been set, as they are waiting for some clarification from Zoning Inspector Adam Bey on exactly where the property lines are. It appears that part of the Eastlawn Cemetery is partially submerged in the water that some refer to as "Lake Suffield".
Vicki Vincent, at the September 22nd Trustee's Meeting, spoke of what the Cemetery Committee has done to date. She said that they have trimmed away some of the brush on the pond side of the Eastlawn Cemetery, but need to do more. When this is completed, they will haul away the brush. There were those in the audience who were hoping to hear long-term solutions to the cemetery maintenance problem, but heard of only a short-term fix to just one of three Township cemeteries. None the less, Vicki and Ed Vincent are to be congratulated for their efforts so far.
At the October 13th Trustees Meeting, Ed Vincent gave a report on what his Cemetery Committee has accomplished. He said that, with the help of nine Suffield residents, they were able to clear out a lot of brush and tree branches and plant grass seed where needed in the Eastlawn Cemetery. Vincent stated that all that remains to be done in "phase one" is to have three large trees cut down and removed. He presented an estimate from G.P. Tree Service for $1,250 for the work. The Trustees accepted the offer and voted to pay for the work. Vincent suggested that a "phase two" be implemented, which would be to straighten-up some of the grave markers that have fallen or are leaning. The Trustees suggested that more discussion on this potentially costly phase be had at future meetings and that some research be conducted.