BLUFFTON — The debate over what to do with Shannon Cemetery, a formerly dilapidated cemetery on state Route 103, has been passionate, as several residents took exception with a previous plan to create a park on the site. However, after a collaborative effort between the Shannon Cemetery Commission and the Friends of Shannon Cemetery, that debate may finally be put to rest.
Speaking to Bluffton Village Council on Monday, both groups outlined a recommended plan that would repair gravestones from the cemetery and place those whose locations are known back in their place. The plan would also prohibit the building of any structure over any known grave locations.
“We are on the same page,” Friends of Shannon Cemetery representative Ray Mumma said. “When we last met with the commission, we gave them our plan, condensed down to five lines. They added four other sections to it to cover items which dealt with donated funds and stuff like that. We fully support this recommendation.”
Other measures would include a granite marker which would include the known names of those buried at the site, which, according to Mumma, include the village’s founder, a Revolutionary War veteran, and at least two Civil War veterans. There would also be an effort to make the cemetery an Ohio Historical Site.
“Bluffton holds its history close and takes it seriously,” cemetery commission chairman Nathan Ulrey said. “It’s a close community.”
While Ulrey and Mumma spoke on the recommendation Monday, council members requested time to examine the proposal before taking it to a vote, expected to take place at the next council meeting in two weeks.
Bluffton Mayor Judy Augsburger was gratified that a consensus was able to be reached on this matter.
“I think it’s great that the two sides are working together, and now council will take some time to review the proposal,” she said.
It is unclear whether this proposal would involve repealing a resolution on what to do with the cemetery passed in 2013 or adding this proposal as an amendment. In either case, Ulrey is glad to see this issue being resolved.
“It’s turning a bad situation into a positive,” he said.
Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.