MACEDONIA – The assessments that each community in the Northfield-Macedonia Cemetery district will pay in 2020 will remain essentially the same as last year, members of the cemetery board decided May 7.

The total assessment for the four communities will be $150,000, compared to $150,370 last year and $143,818 in 2018. Cemetery Treasurer Jeff Snell said he expects the district to have a balance of about $264,000 heading into 2021.

The breakdown of each community’s share of assessments is as follows: Macedonia, $67,681; Sagamore Hills Township, $47,556; Northfield Center Township, $24,500; and Northfield Village, $10,260.

Snell gave the board the option to increase the total assessment to either $155,000 or $160,000, but two of the three community representatives said that would be a financial burden in light of the economic uncertainties brought about by the coronavirus.

"Macedonia is facing a revenue decrease of about $3.5 million this year," said Macedonia rep/Councilwoman Jan Tulley. "I don’t think our council would favor increasing our amount this year. It probably wouldn’t have been an issue if not for COVID-19. We could look at an increase next year."

Northfield Village rep/Mayor Jesse Nehez agreed, saying the several-week shutdown of MGM Northfield Park is likely to have a profound effect on the village’s revenue.

Sagamore Hills rep/Trustee Paul Schweikert said the township probably would not be opposed to increasing its assessment, but he understands the situations Macedonia and Northfield Village face. Northfield Center Township doesn’t have a representative on the cemetery board this year.

Snell said the cemetery is on target to bring in about $35,000 from grave sales this year. As of May 1, the district had a balance of $202,974, and 2020 expenditures are estimated at $218,000, which is up from last year’s $162,000.

Snell said major expenditures this year include $30,000 for a new tractor, dump box for dirt hauling and office computer, which haven’t been replaced in many years; $16,000 for tree work, $3,051 to replace the office furnace and $4,000 for signs.

The anticipated total expenses are broken down as follows: wages, $90,000; contracts, $65,000; equipment, $30,000; supplies, $12,000; insurance, $7,500; repairs, $7,000; and utilities, $7,000.

Meanwhile in action at the board’s March meeting, members voted to contract with Tucker Landscaping for 2020 spring and fall cleanup, grass cutting, lawn treatment and weed control at a cost of $37,250. Mulching is not included in the contract.

The board also voted to purchase a Toro 4-wheel drive lawn tractor with dump box from Baker Equipment at a cost of about $26,000. The old tractor and dump box, which date to the 1970s, will be sold as surplus equipment on govdeals.com.

Also at the March meeting, Snell explained plans were under way to sand off some of the old paint from a portion of the galvanized steel fence near the cemetery’s front gate and repaint it on a test basis. If that test is successful, the board could decide whether to repaint 128 feet of fence near the Valley View-Olde Eight intersection, plus the gate near the office.

"I obtained a quote of $1,283 for the paint and a sprayer if we go ahead with the entire project," said Snell, who added the fence should be power-washed and some of the vertical rods straightened before repainting. "I was told the fence is structurally sound."

Snell is scheduled to give the cemetery board’s annual report at Macedonia City Council’s May 14 meeting.

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