Cemetery seeks financial support from community

DODGE CENTER, Minn. - One local cemetery is dealing with financial struggles and they’re looking to their community for help to keep things running.

The Riverside Cemetery in Dodge Center has been dealing with financial struggles for the past couple of years and according to a cemetery official, the grounds have seen a loss of about 5 to 10 thousand dollars a year.

When most people think of cemeteries, they often think of times of loss or sorrow, but Jerry Head, one of the board members with the Riverside Cemetery Association, is asking folks to think of them as a charitable cause.

“Our lawn service now is running somewhere above $8,000 a year that’s a lot of money,” he says, “our other expenses are running almost that too so our total expenses a year are about $12-$15,000 and we don’t take in that much income anymore.”

The lapse in funds is coming from more people choosing to be cremated after they die, which is a smaller cost to groundskeepers and diggers.

Head brought the issue to city officials to warn them of the trouble they might be in down the road, but for now he says that they have come up with creative solutions for cutting costs while still keeping the grounds in good shape.

“Other than the people we have to pay directly, we’re depending on trading services so to speak” Head says, “so our snowplow man for the last three or four years has been a person who is willing to trade his services for a lot.”

It’s a creative solution but it’s not something that Head believes will be a permanent fix.

They are asking folks to either donate to the cemetery or to remember them in their will, if the family is planning to buy plots together.

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