The Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing is awarding $75,357 to 65 cemeteries in 34 counties throughout Ohio through a new Cemetery Grant Fund.

The fund defrays the costs of exceptional cemetery maintenance or training cemetery personnel in the maintenance and operation of a cemetery. In March 2017, Representative Dick Stein (R-Norwalk) introduced House Bill 168, including the Cemetery Grant Fund, which passed into law and became effective October 29, 2018.

Photo: Bellville Cenetery, Public Domain

“The maintenance of cemetery grounds varies widely, and many cemeteries will be able to use these funds to repair damages from the devasting tornadoes that ravaged part of our state earlier this year, even preventing injury from monuments on the verge of collapsing,” said Department of Commerce Director Sheryl Maxfield. “This new grant fund will be instrumental in helping so many Ohio cemeteries.”

The Division received more than $300,000 in requests for the $80,000 in available funding. In Richland County, the Bellville Cemetery is the only recipient of this grant funding.

“This was a very competitive funding round, requiring us to make some very difficult decisions regarding who will receive awards,” said Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing Superintendent Anne Petit. “I want to encourage cemeteries that did not receive funding this year to reapply next year.”

Registered, non-profit cemeteries may apply for the grant, which is funded by $1 of every $2.50 from the burial permit fees received by the Division.

The Bellville Cemetery, according to its grant request, will use the funds for a collapsing mausoleum, shed removal and monument maintenance.

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