Shannon Cemetery future remains uncertain

By Craig Kelly -

BLUFFTON — A group concerned with the state of Bluffton’s Shannon Cemetery is worried that efforts to restore the cemetery may be stalling.

After a pledge in February from Bluffton Village Council to examine a proposal from the Friends of Shannon Cemetery and the Shannon Cemetery Commission that called for gravestones to be returned to known graves and the prohibition of the building of any structures over any known grave locations, the council has tabled the proposal, according to Ray Mumma of Friends of Shannon Cemetery, and he believes the council does not seem eager to revisit it.

“Their new resolution, set for a second reading, makes no mention of any change in their plans,” Mumma said, speaking of original plans to create a memorial park on the site of the cemetery. “The only thing they did was change the section on funding, which is all donated. It’s just sad that there was a commission made up of a former mayor, a former law director for the village, former councilman for the village, and businessmen and residents, and they won’t even acknowledge it.”

The resolution that was considered for a second reading at Monday’s council meeting amended a 2013 resolution on the cemetery to include, “The Council of the Village of Bluffton, Ohio supports the maintenance of the Shannon Cemetery to honor those buried there in a respectful manner.” The resolution would also allow for the creation of a fund in which interested parties could make financial contributions, also stipulating that no other public funding would be committed for the project.

“In the resolution, they say they have other plans and suggestions for the cemetery,” Mumma said. “Eleven days ago, I filed a Freedom of Information request to know what those plans and suggestions were, and I’ve had no answer.”

After what seemed like progress in resolving these concerns, Mumma is very frustrated at this turn of events.

“It just feels like a slap in the face,” he said.

Mayor Judy Augsburger could not be reached for comment.

By Craig Kelly

Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.

Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.

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