Town will ask electors to support donation, hope neighbors follow
It appears Town of Fredonia officials aren’t going to get any help from their municipal neighbors in addressing the financial plight of the Random Lake Cemetery Association.
The private group operates the graveyard on Random Lake Road, but recently made an appeal to the town for financial support to defray some of the maintenance costs.
According to records, there are 311 graves in the cemetery, some dating back to before the Civil War.
The association asked the town for $2,000, but town officials felt that cost should be split between the communities that have former residents buried in the cemetery.
Town Chairman Richard Mueller said he met recently with representatives of the association and the Village of Random Lake, and learned the neighboring community has no interest in helping with the cost.
“They said state statutes don’t allow them to support a private group, but we have been giving money to groups like the Flag Day Foundation for years,” Mueller said.
The Town of Sherman, Mueller said, also balked at including money in their budget for the cemetery.
Town officials have been told about 40% of the graves are for people from the Town of Fredonia, 40% from Random Lake and 20% from the Town of Sherman.
Fredonia officials have noted that if the association fails, responsibility for maintaining the cemetery would be passed on to the township.
Supr. Jim Stemper suggested Fredonia include half the money the association requested in its 2016 budget, in hopes the example will be followed by the other communities.
“There may not be a legal obligation, but what about the moral obligation?” Supr. Lance Leider asked.
In making a motion that the town include money in its upcoming budget to support the association, Leider also asked that the group include a surcharge on burial plots for residents of communities that do not provide financial support of the organization.
Funding for the cemetery will be one of the issues brought to town voters during the town’s Nov. 11 meeting of electors.