WILMINGTON — A tax levy for the city’s cemetery will appear on the November ballot.
At Thursday’s meeting, Wilmington City Council approved a resolution for a one-mill levy to help maintain and operate Sugar Grove Cemetery.
According to the resolution, the tax will be for a “continuing period of time” and will be levied upon the “entire territory of the City of Wilmington.”
If approved by the voters, it’ll go into effect in the 2022 calendar year.
While all council members approved of the resolution, at least one voiced some concerns.
“I have a few objections, but I think the right thing to do is to put it to a vote and let the voters decide,” said Councilmember Matt Purkey.
At a council meeting in March, Councilmember Nick Eveland brought up a discussion within the City Services Committee — which he chairs — had over how to fund the cemetery in the future.
Eveland advised the cemetery fund is running a deficit of “about $150,000 a year.”
He informed council that, to avoid the deficit, would mean either paying it out of the city’s general fund or fund it through a levy.
“Anything less than a full (one) mill levy would probably be a Band-Aid approach,” said Eveland.
He said everyone on the committee agreed that Sugar Grove is an important aspect of the city. He believes the levy can provide for the cemetery, but also improve and expand on what the cemetery has.
At a February council meeting, Safety/Service Director Brian Shidaker calculated a one-mill tax levy would bring in approximately $232,000 ($34 annually per $100,000 property value).
In the past 18 years in Clinton County, there have been 13 previous cemetery levies that were on the ballot for six different townships. The most recent was in 2020 for Vernon Township, which was approved. Only four failed to receive voter approval.