For some years, the fencing on all but the east side of the cemetery has been deteriorating or non-existent. Last night, the Columbia Township board reached a consensus to replace the chain link fence to match the fence at the entrance. An estimate from February put the cost at $47,350. Because that number may not be valid today, the Board tabled the topic for now. But a vote could occur next month.
The new fence would encompass the entire perimeter of the cemetery. Supervisor Barry Marsh adds that when “the existing fence is removed, the perimeter of the cemetery will be cleared of any overgrowth or brush which might also reveal a couple of additional potential burial plots. We will then look to resolve the unsightliness of the dirt pile.” He goes on to comment that once that is completed they “will continue with plans to dedicate or incorporate some historical plaques on the history of Clark Lake cemetery and some of our families there.”
About a year ago, the Township opened discussion on the future of the cemetery. You can review that story by clicking here.
A portion of this website’s 2021 story recounts how the entrance to the cemetery was improved:
“About 18 years ago a major improvement was initiated by the Clark Lake Spirit Foundation (then called the Clark Lake Foundation). At the time, the fence and pillars facing Hyde Road were not there. Those accessing the boat launch across the street would park their cars and trailers well into the cemetery and atop some of the graves. Recognizing the desecration, the Foundation’s president, Mike McKay, contacted then Township Supervisor Dan Burich. They discussed the possibilities. Mike had the cemetery surveyed, and found the boundaries were rightfully 20 feet to the east, where cars and trailers would park. What took place next was a collaborative effort involving Dan Burich and the Foundation directors–Mike McKay, Brian Adamzcyk, Michele Ambs, Peggy Collins, John Kudner, Linda Reynolds, Joe Thorrez, Mick Thorrez, and Nate Vermeulen. A plan was conceived to install the fencing and pillars. As with some other Clark Lake projects, both the energy and financing for the project came from residents through the Foundation.
Below, a view from inside the cemetery looking toward the lake. The fencing, initiated by the Foundation, borders the lakeside entrance.
The Columbia Township Board voted to permit a vehicle repair shop to operate in a building owned by Brooklyn Plumbing and Heating, Jefferson and Hyde Roads. The repair shop has been in place for about 18 months, but approval did not happen until last night. Below is a photo of where S&D Repair operates.
The request was reviewed by the Township’s planning consultant, Landplan, and the Columbia Township Planning Commission. The Planning Commission approved, and did not see the necessity of erecting a fence along the east side of the area. Attorney Kevin Thomson represented Brooklyn Plumbing and Heating. Seated to his right is Brooklyn Plumbing’s Chad Hagerty.
Sewer Bill Up
Directive from Leoni Township to Columbia Township: sewer rates must go up. As a result, the quarterly payment for Clark Lake will rise from $243 to about $247. Columbia Township voted to pass along the increase because it had no option to do otherwise.
Columbia Township is also considering a $35,000 study to evaluate the sewage system, including its outflow. The Township and City of Jackson have discussed the possibility of accepting that outflow. Currently, Columbia Township sewage flows to the Leoni Township processing plant. Litigation with Leoni Township, other townships, and Jackson County has gone on for years.
Columbia Township has dealt with this frustration endlessly and are seeking solutions. A board member comments “the Columbia Township Board is looking out for the best interests of its residents, and reliable, cost-effective sewer rates are at the top of the list.”