Truro considers cemetery deal with OSU

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By Tara Figurski
Staff Writer

The Truro Township Trustees tabled an agreement that could bring in more than $100,000 in revenue to the township  from The Ohio State University’s anatomy department.

The township is developing an agreement with OSU and Shaw-Davis funeral home to allow the cremains from OSU’s Department of Anatomy to be buried in the township cemetery.

At the June 5 Truro Township trustee meeting, Truro Township Administrator Jason Nicodemus recommended tabling the proposed agreement to allow more discussion.

“There are some pending items,” Nicodemus said. “We need to table it so we can finalize (the agreement) and handle everything properly.”

Stan Knoderer, township roads and cemetery superintendent, is concerned about tabling the agreement and encouraged township officials to act swiftly to resolve any outstanding issues.

“We cannot forestall this a lot longer,” Knoderer said.

Knoderer said he needed to purchase a crypt to accommodate the cremains. Truro Township trustee Barbara Strussion said the crypt could be purchased without an agreement in place.

Knoderer said the township received a $15,000 deposit from Shaw-Davis for the project.

“I feel awkward accepting money waiting for this to be settled,” Knoderer said. “It’s not fair to them. I don’t know if we are any further ahead than we were two years ago.”

Nicodemus said township officials were concerned about how many times the crypt would be opened and closed to accommodate burial of the cremains.

Knoderer said it was not likely the crypt would be opened numerous times and it was his understanding 200 cremains would be laid to rest at one time in each crypt. There are approximately 940 cremains.

Once all of the cremains have been buried, the township could receive $140,000 for the project. The cremains are of people who donated their body for the use of medicine. Once the bodies have served their useful life, family members are offered an opportunity to gather the cremains.

If a family is uninterested in gathering the cremains, OSU would contract with the township and Shaw-Davis to give the cremains an appropriate burial. A catalog would be developed so a visiting family member could identify which crypt houses their loved one.

“They (OSU) give them a dignified burial,” Knoderer said. “Two years we have been working on this. It’s on hold for now.”

Strussion is concerned the contract came from OSU rather than the township creating the contract. Having the contract prepared by OSU created a tangled mess, she said, adding the agreement needs to be settled.

“This is something of a unique situation,” Strussion said.

Township trustee Pat Mahaney was concerned about putting policies in place for future trustees by adopting the agreement.

Knoderer said the agreement locks a price in place for storing the cremains.

“I’m concerned about doing something beyond this administration,” Mahaney said. “It’s like telling the board in 2020 that they need to buy a fire truck.”

Strussion said time is needed to address concerns, such as ensuring prior notice before opening the crypt.

She said issues like the cemetery agreement took a backseat to the levy, but township trustees are back on track. The agreement provides protection for the funeral home and township, she added.

“We will have this resolved before the summer is over,” Strussion said.

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