Efforts to restore North Judson’s Pioneer Cemetery are getting a boost from the town. Dr. Dennis Dalphond has been leading efforts to beautify the cemetery, but a lack of water at the cemetery has made landscaping work difficult.
While Pioneer Cemetery has a water system, it hasn’t been used in decades and needs significant repairs, according to Town Superintendent Marshall Horstmann. “We would have to go through the entire cemetery and replace all the broken and bent standpipes,” he says. “The old meter would have to be changed out with a new one. There’s a small shutoff valve prior to the meter, but there is nothing prior to the pit.”
Horstmann told the town council Tuesday that while a shutoff valve could be installed, there’s no indication of how many leaks there may be in the system. He said leaks may lead to sinkholes, collapsed headstones and flooded graves.
Instead of repairing the existing system, Horstmann recommended a different solution, “The second option would be to dig up the 10-inch main in the driveway at the top of the hill. We could put a tapping saddle on it, tap the line, and run tubing over to a new meter pit, out of the way of the driveway, and from the meter pit run it over to a yard hydrant, and just have one yard hydrant for the whole cemetery.” He says it would be placed in a central location by the memorial garden.
Even though the plan would only provide one water source for the cemetery, it’s an improvement over the current situation. Right now, volunteers have to run hoses from the Methodist Church across the street.
The town council voted Tuesday to allow Horstmann to proceed with his recommended plan.