The Town of Sharon is now in the Slate Hill Cemetery business.
Buried in debt and out of money, the cemetery has joined the ranks of the abandoned and under New York State law, it’s now the responsibility of the town.
And though that responsibility could have ended with mowing, Supervisor Sandy Manko said Thursday that the town has decided to continue selling cemetery lots and opening and closing graves as well.
“It’s business as usual,” Ms. Manko said, both for people who’ve already bought lots there and for those looking to do so in the future.
“The cemetery is part of our community and it’s important to people. We felt it was important to keep it going.”
In April, Ms. Manko and councilmen learned from Richard Buske of the State’s Division of Cemeteries that the cemetery’s records were in a shambles and its assets were down to $2,700—money that’s since been turned over to the town.
Ian Trombecky has been hired as cemetery supervisor and will oversee burials.
Herbert Vrooman Jr. will be the cemetery office assistant and the contact for funeral homes and memorial companies, with Todd Jump, Bill Barbic, and Louise Hathaway cemetery workers.
It’s not uncommon for small rural cemeteries to run out of money, said David Fleming, a spokesman for the State Association of Cemeteries, and Ms. Manko estimates the new responsibilities will cost the town $12,000-$15,000 a year.
The takeover makes the town eligible for a one-time state grant which will be used to remove a couple of trees, repair a split rail fence, and do some maintenance and painting work, Ms. Manko said.
The town will be publicizing updated contact information and prices for the cemetery on its website; they follow here as well:
Cemetery Office Assistant—Herbert Vrooman Jr., (518) 888-4984 (cell) or (518) 284-2721.
Cemetery Supervisor—Ian Trombecky, (518) 231-0893 (cell) or (518) 234-1519.
Town Clerk (Records Keeper)—Barbara Cousineau, (518) 284-3010; FAX, (518) 284-2780.
Rates: $300 per single grave; foundation, $150 minimum charge.
Interment: Body, $600; cremated remains, $250.
Vault charges: Burial in Slate Hill, $100; burial in another cemetery, $200.