Prospect Lawn Cemetery will get help from the Town of Hamburg for another year.
The Town Board Monday approved paying $1,000 a month for another year to the cemetery, which has had financial difficulties for about five years. This will be the third year the town is providing assistance to the cemetery on Route 62.
While town officials aren’t thrilled with aiding the cemetery, it is preferable to the alternative. If the cemetery should go out of business, under state law, the town would have to take over operations.
Town Supervisor Steven Walters said the cemetery is operating about $1,200 in the black with the help from the town.
The town has three members on the nine-member cemetery board, including the supervisor. He said the town has put the cemetery board in touch with a financial adviser who works with several fire companies in the town.
“They’re not getting much return on their investment,” Walters said.
“The alternative is to not provide assistance to Prospect Lawn Cemetery,” Walters said. “They would inevitably go out of business and then the town would be responsible for 100 percent of the cost, which would be substantially more than $1,000 a month.”
He said the town hopes it can help the cemetery over this financially rough patch so that it will be able to support itself again.
A number of figures instrumental in Hamburg’s history are buried in the cemetery, which also has the graves of veterans from every war and conflict dating to the American Revolution. The older section on the east side of Route 62 is full, Walters said, but there is plenty of room for more graves on the west side of Route 62.