Beverly Gill, president of the Burlington Cemetery Association, points out the chapel’s deteriorating condition during a tour on June 4. (Photo by Jason Arndt)

Lacking funds, officials look for community support

By Jason Arndt

Editor

Decades after a former board member embezzled a large sum of cash from the Burlington Cemetery Association’s maintenance fund, the organization still faces ongoing financial struggles, which has left a historic structure near ruin.

The historic structure, a shelter/chapel constructed nearly a century ago, has deteriorated and has an uncertain future without funding to restore the building in the cemetery along Browns Lake Drive (Highway W).

“We are looking for any help we can get. We need some money, we need supplies, we need workers and we would like to save the building,” said Cemetery Association President Beverly Gill.

“It is part of history, we can’t lose it because it is irreplaceable.”

The association, still reeling from the embezzlement case in the 1990s, has endured multiple financial struggles since.

According to Standard Press files, the Cemetery Association announced in 2012 it was essentially bankrupt an in need of support from the community.

Gill said on Tuesday the Cemetery Association considered dissolving until the city and town of Burlington stepped in to provide in-kind services.

“The city cuts the grass and takes trees down for us, there is roadwork. The town helps the same with the back portion,” she said. “It is a coordinated effort to keep it going.”

In 2015, the Standard Press reported an intergovernmental agreement between the association along with the town and city of Burlington indicates both municipalities would provide lawn maintenance, basic snow plowing and road maintenance.

The coordinated effort, she said, has helped the association ease some of its worries.

However, she said funds have not come in to maintain the historic chapel, which has been crumbling for years.

To read the full story, see the June 6 edition of the Burlington Standard Press.

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