At its meeting on October 19, Village of Clinton council voted to disband the Pioneer Cemetery Committee. The decision means that maintenance of the cemetery now goes to the village, says chief administrative officer Tom Dall.
“They [the committee] couldn’t get the volunteers to maintain it,” he says. The renewed terms of reference of the committee from April 2015 stated that one guiding principle was “to find resources to operate and maintain the cemetery in order to reduce the tax burden on the community.”
A memorandum of understanding was created between the Village of Clinton and CUPE , which allowed members of the public to do the required maintenance work. However, only a small group of volunteers was available, and no maintenance work was carried out this fall.
The site has a history of being plagued by marmots, although Dall says that for the last two years they haven’t been a problem. In September the village received a letter from someone complaining about the weeds and general lack of maintenance at the site, prompting council to look at the best way of solving the issue.
The fact that the village is now in charge of maintaining the site does not preclude a group going in to work there, says Dall. “It just has to go through the Village of Clinton and the union. But the committee had run its course.”
The first grave in the Clinton Pioneer Cemetery was recorded in 1861. The land was given to the people of Clinton, but the property was recently transferred into the name of the village.
Dall also notes that the upgrades at the Clinton community hall have now been completed, with all-new curtains, lights, baffles for sound, and another set of stairs leading to the basement, which means part of it can now be used as a green room.
“The lighting is state of the art,” says Dall, who adds that the village is working with Lee’s Music to put on a little event to mark the official unveiling of the upgraded hall in November.