Hillside Cemetery has water available at central location

By: 
Daniel Pepper

Gun Plain Township officials said they’re trying to make sure Hillside Cemetery visitors know they can get water in a central location while the spigots aren’t working.
Township supervisor Mike VanDenBerg said at the Thursday, June 7, regular meeting the water lines had broken and weren’t working—over Memorial Day weekend.
“We had water available around back at the garage but I think a lot of people didn’t know,” VanDenBerg said.
The township office was fielding 20 calls a day.
“Anytime you deal with the cemetery there are a lot of emotions,” VanDenBerg said. “There’s a lot that goes into it.”
The water lines, he said, were put in during the 1920s and had begun to fail.
The lines are under the cemetery’s driveways, so they have to be even deeper than the 42-inch standard for water lines in Michigan.
VanDenBerg said it would take between $5,000 and $6,000 replace them all and he thought it would be better to post signs pointing people to the water and wait until the fall to replace the lines after fewer people are using the cemetery.
There are 28 spigots in the cemetery and board members wondered whether it made sense to have that many or if there should be one per section.
Trustee Jenann Pearson pointed out that the township didn’t provide water in its other two smaller cemeteries and many other municipalities didn’t either.

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