Bath Council hears update on cemetery
Irene Hedrick, President of the Town of Bath Cemetery Management and Maintenance Corporation, presented an update to Mayor Susan Webster and council members at the June 7 council meeting.
Hedrick, who has also been serving as the town’s recorder, is not running for reelection. She said she wanted to give the council an update prior to leaving her post. The town election is Tuesday, June 14.
Dispelling the rumors she has heard claiming the cemetery’s perpetual care trust fund is out of money, Hedrick said.
“When we took over the cemetery on June 30, 2006, the value of the perpetual care trust fund was $117,780.96. On March 31 of this year, the date of the last statement we received, the value was $150,613.13. We have tried hard to build that account.”
She explained the money in the account is held by CNB Bank and belongs to the town. The town allows the cemetery commission to use the income from the account for maintenance at Greenway Cemetery. “The principal is never touched,” Hedrick said.
Hedrick also countered complaints the cemetery was not mowed for Memorial Day.
“It had been mowed twice before Memorial Day. With all the rain the grass grows like crazy and you can’t keep it mowed,” Hedrick said. She went on to say the cemetery will never be entirely mowed at one time.
Hedrick reported the working fund for maintenance at the cemetery is down $6,000 from last year.
Income is down because of the economic situation. People are not buying lots and are opting for cremation rather than a traditional burial, she explained.
Because of the shortfall, the commission has had to cut the two workers at the cemetery back from five to four days a week, she said.
Hedrick praised commission member Larry Davis for all the volunteer work he has done repairing equipment and bringing his own mower over to the cemetery to help with the grass.
“I thank you and know everyone on this council thanks you for taking this on in 2006. It is a very difficult task you took on and I thank you. People don’t understand who haven’t walked in your shoes,” Webster told Hedrick.
Hedrick said the corporation’s books are open to the public. The board meets the first Thursday of every month at 9:30 a.m. in the town council chambers.
The Town of Bath Water Department has accepted a bid from H.D. Supply Waterworks for $231,145 to replace old water meters with ones that can be read remotely.
Money left over from the recent water line replacement project will be used to pay for the new radio read meters, Webster said.
Trouble with streetlights
Public Works chairman Scott Merki said during a recent walk around town he found 10 streetlights that were either flashing on and off or were out completely. Some streetlights have been out for over a year, he said.
Town Clerk Margie Allgyer said several streetlights had been fixed recently by Allegheny Power (now Potomac Edison).
But work orders to fix other streetlights were issued months ago without much response from the power company.
A request made last year for a new streetlight across from the 7-Eleven store on Union Street has never been installed, Webster said.
The town pays the power company a fee yearly for maintenance on streetlights. “We have been fighting this since last fall,” Merki said.
Council instructed Allgyer to look into pursuing the issue with the West Virginia Public Service Commission.
Mercer Street retaining wall
The town has received an engineering drawing and survey for the installation of a block retaining wall behind CNB Bank to shore up the old retaining wall along Mercer Street, Councilman Ryan Rebant reported.
Most of the work is on town property, but the bank parking lot will have to be used to stage the construction equipment, he said.
CNB Bank asked that a survey and engineering drawing be done before any work began. GHS Contracting of Morgan County will
be installing the Gabion blocks, wire baskets filled with stone, to shore up the retaining wall.