The Hastings City Council Monday awarded a three-year contract to Wickham Cemetery Care for operation and maintenances services at Riverside Cemetery for $83,500 a year.
The Cemetery Preservation Advisory Board’s recommendation was seconded by Department of Public Services Director Lee Hays. Hays said the references he checked all commented on the quality of Wickham’s work and the company provides maintenance and burial services for several townships in the county.
The bids for annual services from Hallifax Services, the other bidder, and Wickham were close, $84, 706 for Hallifax and $83,500 for Wickham and also close for spring and summer mowing and maintenance, $1,629 a week for Hallifax and $1,605.77 a week for Wickham.
However, the associated fees were all between $150 and $200 higher from Hallifax than from Wickham. In the most extreme differences, the price for opening and closing a grave for an adult on a Sunday or holiday was $1,500 for Hallifax and $650 for Wickham. Opening and closing a grave for a child on Sundays or holidays was $1,000 from Hallifax and $350 from Wickham.
Councilman John Resseguie said Hallifax Services had done business with the city for a long time and they should continue with them; other council members said the cost savings to the taxpayers was their deciding factor.
Also to do with Riverside Cemetery, the council had the first reading on a change in the ordinance to allow one cremains and one traditional casket in a single burial plot. Before a decision is made after the second reading at the next meeting, they will remove some outdated references and confusing language. //
The Great Start Collaborative and Parent Coalition was approved to place two mini-lending libraries on city property. Councilwoman Brenda McNabb Stange objected, saying the city allows only schools or the city to use city property; if they allowed one private group to do it, they would have to open it up for all.
However, the Great Start Collaborative is a Barry Intermediate School District program and it was approved. Collaborative representatives will work with city staff on the locations for the mini-libraries.