“The township has approached us some time ago and is still not quite ready to bring this to you for formal action. However, they would like to get out of the cemetery business,” said Mayor Jim Vernier during Monday night’s Village Board meeting.
Shiloh Valley Township Supervisor David Tiedemann, who also serves as the cemetery sexton, said it’s a matter of “thinking ahead, and getting it in safer hands in the event that someday townships are done away with.”
Tiedemann said the township took over the cemetery in the early 1990s after the Shiloh Cemetery Association had been the caretaker for “many, many years.”
“It’s never been government- or church-owned cemetery. It was always been run by the local people, and I think the village would be a better fit,” Tiedemann said.
“It does make sense that the village probably own it. It’s in the middle of our community, and we certainly want to see it maintained,” Vernier said.
The cemetery’s care fund is sourced from the sale of annual burial plots.
“It isn’t a lot, but helps with the upkeep like mowing,” Tiedemann said. “There’s a couple thousand grave sites, and we sell about eight to 10 plots annually still.”
Of the six total acres at the cemetery, which is located at the intersection of Main and Church streets, about two acres are still unoccupied, Tiedemann said.
“There’s still plenty of room to grow. At this rate, it’ll be good for another 100 years or more,” Tiedemann said.
A full casket grave site runs $550 or $500 for a single plot and $300 for cremation burial plots, according to Tiedemann.
O’Fallon and Shiloh residents have been buried in the cemetery since the early 1800s, Tiedemann said.
“It holds a lot of history. There are six Revolutionary War veterans buried there, a famous actress (Mary Wickes) is buried there, and a lot of founding members of our community are buried there,” Vernier said.
Other actions taken by the board Monday included:
▪ The board agreed to further discuss the updates to the village’s raffle ordinance more at next month’s committee meeting.
▪ A solicitor permit application for Melissa Sterling, representing Edward Jones, was approved by majority, with Trustee Kurt Burrelsman being the lone opposing vote. Trustee Colleen Powers was absent.
▪ Seibert Road reconstruction reimbursement for phases 3 and 5 was approved unanimously.
▪ Shiloh-Scott Air Force Base Pedestrian Bike Enhancement Project on Seibert Road (phases 1 and 2) Tax Increment Finance fund allocation and a construction engineering service agreement were unanimously approved. Unanimous approval was also given for a construction contract with Keller Construction Inc. on the project.
All items approved during the committee at large meeting held Monday will go before the board of trustees for a final vote Monday, Feb. 5.