The Town of Winamac will soon be taking over McKinley Memorial Gardens Cemetery. The town council voted Monday to accept the donation of the cemetery and associated records from the McKinley Cemetery Association.
Charles McKinley told council members that the cemetery’s board of directors made the decision to donate the cemetery, due to increasing concerns about its appearance. “We would like for the town to take over, lock, stock, and barrel,” he said. “The cemetery owns from Main Street to Summit Street, all of that land up there.”
Going forward, Council President Tom Murray suggested filling the unused plots at McKinley Memorial Gardens, before further developing the new McFarland Addition at the nearby Town Cemetery. “You know, we bought x amount of markers to mark the new McFarland Addition,” Murray said. “Personally, I don’t think we should do anything on that, yet. I think we should develop this other. Just try to get the grass good and everything because we have over 1,800 grave spots still in that to use.”
As for how the town will maintain McKinley Memorial Gardens, Murray said Down to Earth Landscape & Lawncare has already offered to handle mowing and weed-eating for no more than $500 per mowing. “I know we haven’t officially received that thing yet and paperwork done, but I think we need to get them in line, to keep it mowed and looking good,” Murray said.
Town officials plan to work on a contract with the landscaping company, as well as the official paperwork for the cemetery itself. McKinley Cemetery Association’s donation also includes unsold plots at Reed Cemetery, which is maintained by Monroe Township.