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Orchard City to consider running Cory Cemetery

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Orchard City Mayor Ken Volgamore has promised a discussion and possible vote March 8 on whether the town board wants to get involved in management of the Cory Cemetery.

The future status of Cory Cemetery management has been uncertain since its board of directors resigned six years ago.

Since that time, a search has failed to find three volunteers living within the district who would take over responsibility for the cemetery's management and operations.

Former District #2 County Commissioner Bruce Hovde has taken responsibility for running the cemetery for the past six years with help of a bookkeeper, accountant and maintenance worker. Hovde does not live in the cemetery district and now out of office wants to hand the cemetery's management to either the Town of Orchard City or to Commissioner Don Suppes.

Hovde and Suppes in a March 1 presentation to the Orchard City trustees asked if the town would be willing to assume responsibility for the cemetery management and operations at some level.

Hovde reported that the cemetery, brings in about $12,000 annually from the mill levy it assesses on real property within the district boundaries. There are also fees from burials conducted there. There is about $18,000 in the cemetery's accounts at present and the operation runs up about $8,000 to $9,000 per year in expenses.

There were various suggestions raised at the March 1 presentation. They included the following:

• Suppes, as current District #2 commissioner, might continue to operate the cemetery as Hovde has done.

• The town might take responsibility in some capacity, either direct or indirect, while the cemetery retains its special district status.

• Town board members might serve as cemetery board members.

• Combining the Eckert Cemetery in some way with the Cory Cemetery has been discussed.

• Suppes noted that it might be easier for him to find cemetery district board members if the town were supporting in some way.

Suppes noted during the session that he had opposed town participation in Cory Cemetery management or operations during the years he served as Orchard City mayor because he felt that he was representing constituents when doing so.

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Cory Cemetery, Orchard City
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