Village to consider future cemetery growth, needs

Linda Gallagher, Contributing Writer

BELLAIRE – In addition to taking care of a number of other business matters last week, the Bellaire Village Council agreed to consider the future needs of Lakeview Cemetery during its regular monthly meeting.

Citing his concerns for the number of grave lots still available for use in the cemetery, Gary Mortensen of Mortensen's Funeral Homes told the Council that the cemetery was the only one in the area that hadn't been expanded in his 40 years of working in the industry.

Depending upon the rate of interments, the cemetery could be full within the next two years, the funeral director said, adding that a piece of property next to the cemetery was currently for sale.

Another piece of property on the other side of the cemetery has just been sold, said trustee David Ciganick, an area realtor.

"Closing is due the middle of this month," Ciganick said.

Noting the number of parks and open lands owned by the village, Mortensen cited those as possibilities for use as cemeteries, adding, "It costs less to maintain a cemetery than a park."

Mortensen, who handles the cemetery's burials, was asked to voice his concerns to the village's cemetery committee, which will in turn make recommendations to the Village Council.

In other cemetery matters, Mortensen's contract with the village was renewed, with a small increase in the price of grave opening fees, and Council approved the hiring of Kevin Graham, who also maintains Fairview Cemetery in Mancelona for Mancelona Township, as its new part-time seasonal cemetery worker.

Graham was one of five applicants for the position, two of whom were interviewed.

Concerns were voiced however, regarding the amount of time Graham would have to dedicate to Lakeview, as his first obligation is to Mancelona.

"We'll see what happens," said Village Council president David Schulz.

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Bellaire, MI 49615
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