Bazetta to proceed with cemetery repairs

BAZETTA — Four months after a tornado passed through parts of the township, trustees are still dealing with the damage at Hillside Cemetery.

In response to a handful of residents asking about the cleanup, trustees Tuesday said they will be seeking bids for remaining repairs to the cemetery that include rebuilding a storage shed that was destroyed by the Jan. 8 tornado and resetting cemetery headstones, many of which were knocked over.

Trustee Paul Hovis said the township started cleaning up the cemetery for safety reasons after it was closed for more than six weeks. They picked up fallen trees and branches to get them off cemetery roads and off markers.

“We did this to get the ball rolling so we could open it so people could get in there. If we did not do something at the time, people would not have been able to get in because roads were blocked off. We are now putting together for bid the new building, the headstones, cleaning up the rest of the trees, the fence and the stumps. It will all be put out for bids,” Hovis said.

Road supervisor Kris Parke said one worker had to have part of his finger amputated after a cemetery marker he was trying to straighten fell on it. Parke said road employees are now needed for other work such as mowing, and he is now down one employee.

Resident Bob McBride said it is not the township’s responsibility to pick up the headstones.

“The township employees did the work to clean up the cemetery and save the township money. I know many people are still upset over the cemetery,” McBride said.

Parke said the employees have gone through safety training at Cortland Mower to use a chainsaw when removing the trees. He said the 96 trees the employees removed have been piled up along one part of the cemetery.

Trustees approved a proposal by Sexton and Associates Architects of Cortland for replacing the damaged maintenance and equipment storage building at $85 per hour if attendance at any public hearing on zoning is deemed necessary.

Also, trustees are sending a letter to Trumbull County commissioners expressing concerns over the possible consolidation of the Trumbull County sewer districts that include the Metro District and the Mosquito Creek District. They are urging commissioners not to include consolidation of the districts.

Trustee Ted Webb said if this were to come to fruition, it would cause an undue hardship on township residents and possibly limit or eliminate business expansion and growth. Most of the residents are tied to the sanitary sewers as part of the Mosquito Creek District, which Webb said is financially sound.