Newspaper Archive of
N. Warren Town and County News
Norwalk, Iowa
October 7, 2010     N. Warren Town and County News
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October 7, 2010

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AND NORWALK COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT Vol. 42 No. 20 Norwalk, Iowa 50211 USPS No. 395-120 Phone 981-0406 Thursday, October 7, 2010 !t Ma2 ro:r's Moznenl; By Mayor Doug Pierce Norwalk Cemetery Association Had Its Beginning in 1858 By Mary Lou Gray According to Jerry Shepler, one of the trustees for the Norwalk Cemetery Association, this is one of the oldest cemetery associations in the county. The group of trustees includes Shepler, Joyce Gardner, Tom Hughes, Charles McGinnis, Deb Workman, JoAnne Krajcir and Dorothy Gates. The original minutes book from the first meeting held in 1858 is still in existence. The cemetery is located on land originally owned by Howard Hughes, who also has served as a trustee in past years. This is a private association, meaning it is not supported by the city of Norwalk, the county or township. The city of Norwalk has helped with some financing for operating costs. Shepler stated if you own a plot you are a member of the association. One of the oldest markers in the cemetery is that of an Onstot baby and that name appears on the original list of trustees from 1858. Plots for burial went for $5 at the beginning and today plots are priced at $550 for Norwalk residents and $1;100 for anyone without a Norwalk connection. Perpetual care is offered along with the cost of the plot. The $550 is divided between investing for perpetual care and the other half goes to- ward operating expenses. Some major capital expenditures in the last few years have included the removal of six trees on the North Avenue side of the cemetery. Each tree costs about $1,000 to remove. Another update to the cemetery was the blacktop of the driveways. Shepler stated the associa- tion is very fortunate to have Mike Myer serve as the sexton. For 20 years Norwalk residents, Don and Gloria Bell, provided the upkeep and maintained the cemetery as a part-time job and a service to the community. After their retirement, Myer took over the maintenance posi- tion. Today Myer is in charge of the mowing, snow re- moval sale of plots, preparing the plots for burials and provides the equipment to maintain and perform the above duties. Also, Myer can assist family members who may be looking for markers of descendants and those who may be into genealogy and researching their fam- ily trees. Prior to their death, former trustees, John and Betty Kern, updated the names and listed all the mark- ers in the cemetery. Trustee McGinnis was instrumental in installing the lighting for the flag pole. After receiving several con- cerns about the flag not being lighted at night, McGinnis, along with Jim Becker, installed solar lighting for proper flag protocol. Several years ago, Adam Kern was looking for his Eagle Scout project and decided to organize a group to help the cemetery. He established a program for what has become an annual event. This includes repairing markers that have fallen or are in disrepair. Families are responsible for the upkeep of markers, but there are some that no longer have families and now need repair. The 15 scouts gathered on September 11 this year, along with scout leaders and trustees and installed row mark- ers, painted the maintenance building and reseeded ground. Some markers were repaired and a cement base(footing) was installed to upright them as many were leaning and in danger of breaking. Norwalk Ready Mix graciously provided the concrete for the repair. Shepler stated, "Each year seems to present a differ- ent challenge. A challenge this year was the rain and dry years it's the buckhorn weeds." If you would like to be a part of the volunteer effort each year with the scouts, it is usually held in September. Call Shepler at 981-5133 for more information about the Norwalk Cemetery As- sociation ......................... The flag pole at the Norwalk Cemetery with the solar panel installed by McGinnis and Becker Electric. Marker dating from the 1800s. Staff photos by Mary Lou Gray. October has arrived - the leaves are turning, the air is crisp in the mornings and evenings, pumpkins are for sale and combines are active in the fields...not to men- tion that we are in the longest no precipitation period since last April! I love the fall except that it leads to my least favorite season of the year and, hopefully, it is much more tolerable winter than last year's?! Last night, Thursda)9 Sept. 30, we had our third Town Hall Meeting of the year. Attendance was down from our July 8th meeting, however, we had good discussion in regard to a potential Recreation (Rec) Center. I would say that over 90% of those present voted in favor for the City to continue pursuing this venture. Now that we have the project informally designed and divided into three Phases, the City will now look for possible loca- tions which will let the architects know how to move forward with a more formal design. This does not mean , that this project is a "go", but does mean that we will be advancing the process and will definitely, be seeking citizen input through questionnaires, committees, dis- oJssions, etc. There are lots of steps that have to be ac- complished with a project like this, but funding will be the biggeest hurdle in determining the viability of build- ing a Rec Center. Suffice it to the project will be discussed several times in the future and the process will be as transparent as we can make it to insure that we have your input and support. My main theme for this article is "professionalism" in dealing with City Hall. It is everyone's right to call the City and address issues, policies and make com- plaints. However, I ask that when you do this that it be done in a professional manner - treat the person on the other end of the phone as how you would like to be treated. I have worked with the City Staff for nine months now and know that they are a group of very dedicated and professional employees who work very hard to make the City "run" as well as it possibly can. With that in mind, it is not fair for someone who has issues, complaints, disagreements or concerns with City policies to treat the employee with whom they are talk- ing as though they were a "captive audience" that has to listen to rants, cursing and disrespectful behavior. I ask that those very few of you who follow this pattern to refrain from this type of behavior in the future. To help assist city staff with these type of situations in the future, we are looking at the possibility of being able to record unprofessional calls in the future. Albeit it very early, I wish everyone a Happy and Safe Halloween! ii ( , i ii 1 Linn Grove Annual Chicken Noodle Supper CROP Walk This Sunday The annual Linn Grove United Methodist Church The Norwalk CROP Walk is planned for Sunda Oct. Chicken Noodle Supper is scheduled for Saturda3 Oct. 10, at the Norwalk Christian Church. The event is a 10K 16, with serving from 4 to 7 p.m. walk starting at 2 p.m. at the church, 701 Main St. The menu includes chicken and noodles, ham balls, CROP funds the work of Church World Service, mashed potatoes, green beans, salads and homemade which is actively responding to disasters and world pies. The cost is $7 for adults and $4 for children 5-12, hunger. The walk is an ecumenical and community event with those under 5 admitted free of charge, and anyone may participate. Proceeds of the money are The church is located at 7483 50th Ave., south of distributed with 75% going to Church World Service Norwalk near Prole, just off Hwy 28.'-'---o'--. .... ....... -- -and 25% staying in Norwalk ...........................................