City seeking public input on Lead cemetery

City officials in Lead are seeking public opinions on whether to take over maintenance responsibilities for the Odd Fellows portion of the West Lead Cemetery. Pioneer photo by Alex Portal

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LEAD — City officials are seeking more public input regarding the Odd Fellows portion of the West Lead Cemetery.

“There aren’t very many of them left,” said City Administrator Mike Stahl at the July 1 commission meeting. “They have now approached the city and asked the city to take over the management of the Odd Fellows portion of the West Lead Cemetery.”

The cemetery is divided into sections each representing three fraternal orders that once boasted high membership numbers in the community; the Odd Fellows, the Masons, and the Knights of Pythias.

Stahl explained that taking over the management of that section of the cemetery would essentially mean the city would own that portion, which would open up the possibility for non-Odd Fellow residents to be buried on the grounds.

“Would the general public be interested in being buried there in this part of the community instead of out on Rochford Road, maybe,” Stahl said.

Stahl also mentioned some of the risks that the city would undertake could include inconsistent burial records and expensive tree mitigation.

“The last thing we need is a confrontation, or conflict of a burial there,” he said. “The other thing is there’s a lot of trees there, and that’s nice, but then they turn into bad trees and it’s expensive (to remove them).”

A few options were discussed among city officials whether the Odd Fellows would be in a position to help pay for some of the maintenance. It was decided that more information about the amount of work needed to maintain the cemetery, the cost, and the public’s opinion on the matter would be gathered and further discussions would resume at the next scheduled commission meeting on July 15.

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