Yeates joins cemetery district board of commissioners
Change continues for Quincy Valley Cemetery. Last month, Carl Yeates was appointed to the board that guides the large cemetery in Quincy.
Yeates was sworn in on Jan. 14 by Mike Scharbach, chairman of the board of commissioners of Quincy Cemetery District 1, which runs Quincy Valley Cemetery. Yeates was appointed to take the board position vacated by Randy Holloway.
Yeates was a driving force, volunteer worker and organizer for many of the sweeping improvements at the cemetery recently. He said the feedback on the improvements has been good.
“People are very appreciative,” Yeates said Monday. “There’s been a lot of good things happen.”
Holloway said Monday that he resigned from his seat on the board because he moved out of the district.
He served many years on the cemetery district board and enjoyed it. He wasn’t sure how many years in all it was, estimating it was 18 to 20 years.
“I am very proud of the cemetery … very proud of the way it looks. And the overall running of it,” Holloway said.
Will he miss his time on the board?
“Oh yes, the Quincy cemetery has been a big part of my life,” he said. “I don’t have any relative buried there … but it’s important to me, because I know so many people who do have people buried there.”
Holloway recalled that years ago he walked the entire cemetery and mapped out where all the graves were, creating a grid system of reference that made it a lot easier to find graves. Visitors often need a way to locate a grave among the thousands of plots at the cemetery, and the grid system he created has worked well.
Quincy Valley Cemetery “is a very important part of the community,” he said. For instance, Memorial Day services usually draw a large crowd. It is common on Memorial Day to see 300 to 400 visitors at the cemetery, Holloway said.
His term as a commissioner was to end this year.
Yeates said the commissioners asked him to complete the term, and he added that he plans to file to run for the seat in the General Election, which is Nov. 5.
The other two commissioners are not up for election this year. Yeates said he and the other commissioners – Scharbach and Jack Gottschalk – have known each other a long time, about 30 years.
Yeates also has been attending meetings of the district commissioners a long time – for six years, keeping in mind the Quincy Rotary Club’s interests in the cemetery.
“Rotary has a big commitment … we’re going to build the pavilion there,” he said.
Rotary’s commitment to the cemetery continues, following its direct support for some of the many recent improvements at the cemetery. During the past year or so, improvements at the cemetery included paving of a road and parking, addition of a curb and sidewalk, new decorative fencing around three sides, perimeter plantings of hundreds of trees, shrubs and grasses, rock ground cover and irrigation lines.
The pavilion is still envisioned on a site inside the cemetery, with the same features that were unveiled by the Rotary Club in 2017, including a sheltered space for memorial services, a columbarium, restrooms, and new flagpoles, Yeates said.
The cemetery commissioners are likewise supportive of the pavilion project, he said.
“We as a cemetery board want to contribute” to the project, Yeates said.
The district’s funding contribution is not determined, and neither is the cost of the project. When a design is complete, the cost will come into view.
“It will be significant,” Yeates said.
Commissioners meet once a month, on the second Monday of the month. Typical meetings include going over the financial report and approving bills to be paid.
“Our cemetery district is in healthy financial condition,” Yeates said, adding that for a long time the district was not in such good financial shape. The district’s support includes tax funds, donations and sales of burial plots.
Yeates is also a commissioner of Grant County Fire District 3 and has been for three years. He said he will continue in that role and add the cemetery district commissioner role.
By Dave Burgess, email@example.com