BY TOM KOCAL
LANARK — Norm Brinkmeier, treasurer of the Lanark City Cemetery Association, gave a fiscal year-end report to the Lanark City Council during its May 16 regular meeting.
At the end of the 2016-2017 fiscal year, the cemetery’s general fund is in the black, with its greatest revenue source being rent from the City Farm south of Lanark. This fiscal year, the rent received was $68,601.
“We have spent some money on farm improvements this past year,” said Brinkmeier. “We did some bulldozing, leveled some fence lines, and added limestone.”
“In cemetery property improvements, we fertilized in the spring and fall, removed four big trees, added hydraulic lifts to our two service wagons, and planted one tree. Total expenses were $68,902.76, so with total receipts in the general fund of $79,710.57, we netted around $10,000, and there is now over $266,000 in the general fund.”
Brinkmeier said when the board sells a cemetery lot, an endowment fee is added. That portion goes into an endowment money market account. The endowment fund currently has over $96,000 in it.
“We can spend the interest every year, but the fee insures that there will always be funds added and held for maintenance of the cemetery, in perpetuity,” Brinkmeier said.
In 2016-17, there were 14 burials, and the board sold six lots.
“It was a relatively slow year – which is good! Not that many people died. We average around 35-36 burials every year,” he said.
He said the Grimes Family Memorial fund began in 1985 when the board inherited $10,000 from the family. The purpose of the fund is to place flowers and wreaths on seven graves during Memorial Day and Christmas, respectively. He said there is $12,138.67 in the fund now.
Brinkmeier said that three years ago, the board inherited another $10,000 from Beth and Red Ross, to place flowers and wreaths on just one grave. There is $10,065.94 in that fund.
Brinkmeier said this year, continuing work on straightening up some of the older headstones is in the pipeline, as well as more fertilizing. He said the cemetery equipment is in great shape, due to good care and maintenance practices by Cemetery Maintenance Manager Amy Milby.
“We’re in very good shape financially. Probably one of the few cemeteries around that are in good financial standing. Plus, we have a beautiful cemetery.”
City farm bids moved to October
Brinkmeier’s cemetery board report prompted discussion about moving the city farm bidding process up a month.
“I am listening to the input from the tenant, and I think it is probably a good move,” Alderman Mark Macomber said. “The tenants would have more time to plan for the next year.”
Currently, the bidding process is announced at the first city council meeting in November, opened and approved at the second meeting that month, with possession taking place in December.
Macomber’s motion to move the bidding process announcement to the first city council meeting in October, opened and approved at the second meeting in October, with possession taking place in November, was unanimously approved.
For more information about the 35 acre private cemetery in Lanark, the city farm or the Lanark City Cemetery Association, contact Norm Brinkmeier at 815-493-2851, or message the association on Facebook.
Sanitary sewer lining project
Mayor Ken Viglietta, in his report for MSA Professional Services, said that the city and MSA successfully held a pre-construction meeting with Michaels Construction Co. on May 10 regarding the proposed sanitary sewer improvement project that will hopefully reduce the amount of clear water and rain infiltrating into the sewer lines.
“The take-away from the meeting is that the project will kick off Aug. 7, barring any weather problems,” said Viglietta.
Door hangers will be posted around town in the areas affected by the sewer re-lining project, asking them to reduce water usage, flushing, etc. during the re-lining operation in their area.
MSA also presented information on a potential project at West Lanark Ave. regarding a drainage problem. Specifically, water runoff from the adjoining field and street surface water erodes the east side of West Lanark Ave. from Carroll Service’s main office to state Route 64.
“That has been a lot of deterioration for quite awhile,” Viglietta said. “The good news is that after talking with the Illinois Dept. of Transportation, Carroll County engineers, and City Maintenance Manager Tom DiFazio, I think we can keep all of the project in-house.
Farmers Market flag at the park
Steve Kruzek, Lanark Farmers Market manager representing the Cornucopia Committee, asked permission to post a Farmers Market promotional flag in the city park near the northwest shelter to draw attention to the market, held from 3 to 6 p.m. every Tuesday through October. He was referred to the Park Board.
Heritage Center board reinstated
The Heritage Center Board was reinstated after several years of non-existence. City Attorney Ed Mitchell presented Ordinance 939 to re-establish the function of the board. He said the ordinance is essentially the same as the initial ordinance created regarding the HC board, but was revoked.
After brief discussion, council agreed – and unanimously approved – that three board members to start would be an efficient number. Council can appoint up to 11 board members, according to the ordinance.
Appointed to the Heritage Center board are Lanark Third Ward residents Jocelyn Lilly, Taunya Kuberski and Stacy Kalina. They will decide who will serve as president, vice-president and secretary, but the city holds the checkbook and pays the bills for the HC.
Tom Kocal, publisher of RiverReader.org, may be contacted via email at TKocal@riverreader.org, at 815-275-3025, or 815-493-3065. Visit RiverReader.org and register for complete access to this new Carroll County information and marketing source.