Trustees table private donation that would expand Ridge Cemetery

by Melissa Martin

Dec. 19 trustees meeting

Hinckley Township trustees rejected a proposed 1-acre donation intended to expand the 2.3-acre Ridge Cemetery.

Doug Krause, owner of Carrington Homes, told trustees the land, located on the north side of Center Road approximately 900 feet west of State Road, belongs to a 30-acre parcel on Center Road owned by longtime Hinckley residents Bruce and Victoria Schneider. After Bruce Schneider passed away in 2021, Victoria began looking to sell the property for development and has offered the land, which is as wide as Ridge Cemetery and measures approximately 150 feet deep.

“This would cover any future expansion of the cemetery,” Krause said. “[The township may not] need it today, but the township is growing. … If nothing else, it would allow more room for parking during funeral services moving forward.”

As part of the proposal, Krause said Victoria Schneider would have received a tax credit for the donation. In exchange, she would have agreed to cover the costs associated with the lot split, survey of the land and all appraisals needed for tax purposes, which amount to just over $6,000.

“But before we move forward, we want to make sure the township wants this parcel of land,” Krause told the board. “If we go through with it and spend the money, we want to make sure at the end of the day there is an actual donation that is completed so she can receive the tax benefit from it.”

Trustee Monique Ascherl questioned the usability of the property due to its hilly terrain, questioning whether the land was suitable for additional cemetery plots.

Trustee Melissa Augustine asked the board to think outside the box and consider using the donated land for additional parking or roadway access through the cemetery.

“Anything we can do to preserve the property in Hinckley Township is always a bonus,” Augustine said.

While Trustee Jack Swedyk said the donation was “a beautiful gesture,” he said he was hesitant to approve legislation accepting the donation. He said the township needed more time to evaluate the specifics, which among other requests, includes the installation of a township fence or buffer along the width of the property to shield nearby homes from cemetery traffic.

“It’s a valid point to have the prosecutor look at it to make sure we are able to do what the resident is asking for as part of the terms of the agreement,” Swedyk told Krause, noting that the agreement could still be considered in the future should the county prosecutor approve.

Trustees approved a request by township Fire Chief Jestin Grossenbaugh to purchase a new turnout gear dryer used to dry jackets and other clothing worn by firefighters on duty.

“We had a fire in Brunswick this morning and we have five sets of turnout gear currently drying in the bay,” Grossenbaugh told the board. “That pretty much puts five members [of the department] out of service until this stuff dries.”

Grossenbaugh explained that a gear dryer, which resembles a mannequin, would enable the department to dry its gear in a fraction of the time, in approximately two to three hours.

“You put the gear on the mannequin and there is constant airflow going through it that dries the gear,” he said. “It will allow us to dry the gear quickly and get it back in service.”

In addition to the gear dryer, Grossenbaugh also requested the purchase of 32 pairs of gloves and 32 hoods for the firefighters. He said the department planned to use a $13,720 grant from the Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation to fund the majority of the purchase with $2,744 paid by the fire department.

Trustees unanimously approved the sale of the fire department’s KME Predator Engine 31-2 to Brindlee Mountain Fire Apparatus.

The department listed the engine for $75,000, however the auction on GovDeals ended with a closing price of $90,000, Grossenbaugh said.

“In the last few minutes there was a lot of activity and the price went up to $90,000,” he said. “We’ll take it.” ∞