Vol. III No. 03 2/1/2022
Notes from the Cemetery Commission, January 25, Hybrid Meeting
- Karen Marshall, Chair
- Patrick White, Select Board
- Roxanne McCaffrey, Select Board
- Terri Lemolini, Town Clerk
- Peter Williams, Historical Commission
- Michael Canales, Town Administrator
- Candace Curry, member, via Zoom
- Wendy Pearson, Stockbridge Library Director, asked for clarification regarding holding events in the cemetery. Should she present a list of dates and ask permission once or appear for each date? Canales explained there is no formal policy yet, but the issue arose when folks advertised an event on Halloween Night in Stockbridge cemetery on Facebook. There was discussion about creating a policy as well as assuring Stockbridge Library that their programs could continue.
- Rick Atwood will cover burials until someone is hired to replace Chris Marsden. In the alternative, the position may be divided between two people. A new hire doing Marsden's job but Atwood continuing with the burials.
- Before he left, Marsden proposed $20,000 worth of tree work. Marshall asked if it had been done? Canales explained that to remove a tree there are six criteria; for example, it is dead, dangerous or diseased. If one of the six criteria is not met, Mark Faber, Tree Warden, must hold a public hearing. Faber removed one dangerous limb.
- Curry wanted to be cautious about removing trees. White agreed that a shady, treed cemetery is aesthetically appealing. After discussion the Commission agreed that they would strike the balance between beauty, preservation, and safety.
- The Commission discussed the report from the consultants. There was over $250,000 worth of work recommended.
- Chair mentioned they had $400,000 in their Maintenance Fund — amassed over almost 40 years
- Canales offered these thoughts
- The work will not be started all at once so the money will be spent in phases. Consultants should create a list of the order in which to do the work
- Add 10% for overages and 10% for oversight — approximately $300,000
- Ask the consultants if they are planning to apply to do the work themselves, oversee the work themselves, or neither?
- Williams asked about use of volunteers to defray some costs — others agreed
- There is a MA law that tombstones may not be removed from cemetery so they will be stored on site
- Moved to ask Town Meeting to use $300,000 from their fund to go forward with the work — approved
- White asked if the Gideon Smith graveyard is included (located on a hill opposite the entrance to White Pines). It was not. Have to resolve the question of who owns the historic cemetery and then, if the Town, restore it.
Photo: Blue Moon Images