The facelift of the North Royalton Cemetery continues. North Royalton City Council adopted legislation at their June 16 meeting that approves a change order regarding the one of the cemetery projects that recently commenced. North Royalton’s main cemetery has been targeted for a sprucing up over the past few years by the City administration. The cemetery is located at 6170 Royalton Road, and is one of two cemeteries in North Royalton.
The City started the process to refurbish the stone outbuilding, known as the receiving vault last year. The building once served to hold the deceased over the winter months, where burial was impossible. The refurbishment of the building, which was built in 1879, includes a new roof and gutters, as well as other work that enhaces the structure of the building. Specifications for the repairs were drawn up by Perspectus Architecture. That project went out for bids and the work, being done by Grunwell-Cashero Company started earlier this year.
Community Development Director Tom Jordan said that the cemetery upgrade was included in a grant application for a Capital Grant Request to the State of Ohio. The City is receiving $100,000 of the $580,000 it asked for. According to the Ohio Office of Budget and Management, “the State of Ohio’s biennial Capital Budget, enacted in each even-numbered year, provides appropriations for the repair, reconstruction and construction of capital assets of state agencies, colleges, universities and school districts. In some years, funds may also be allocated for community projects of local or regional interest. In general, funding for state highways, bridges and other transportation construction is appropriated through the biennial Transportation Budget, enacted in odd-numbered years. Funding for most capital projects is supported by long-term debt issued by the State or, in some cases, by various cash funds.”
Jordan said the change order, which amounts to approximately $34,000, includes the rigging, lifting and setting of five monument/markers. New concrete bases will be poured and the stones will then be replaced. Council President Paul Marnecheck stated that since the cranes were already at the location for other parts of the refurbishment project, it made sense to add this additional work, as the cost of getting the crane and materials would be saved. He noted that the cost of the project would be covered under the grant, as the cost of the original refurbishment came in under the anticipated cost. Jordan noted that the change order also includes the repair of the door and gate, as well as the stonework around the door.
Another grant that was previously received by the city, provided by the Cuyahoga County Veterans Service Commission’s Memorial Affairs Department, funded the replacement or repair and/or reset of head stones of veterans buried at the cemetery at no cost to the city, or the families. The plots that had standard issue stones were inventoried and examined. About 300 stones were identified and with 95 of them needing attention, with about thirty needing replacement. A bid was awarded to Everlasting Memorials and Monuments for phase 1 of the project, which included the resetting and cleaning of 30 stones. Phase 2 was completed by Milano Monuments, which reset another 30 stones. “The majority of the work has been done,” said Jordan.
In 2008, then-mayor Bob Stefanik’s administration started to target the renovation and long term maintenance of the cemetery when they started earmarking some of the funds from the proceeds of plots. Since then some sewer work had been done, as well as the replacement of the sidewalk in front of the cemetery, along Royalton Road. The driveway was also resurfaced and some concrete work done. There has been an overall cleanup within the cemetery, and adjacent property owners have replaced the fence that surrounds a portion to the north of the cemetery. Last year, a wrought iron style archway, resting on brick pillars was installed over the entryway. The archway reads “North Royalton Cemetery Est. 1866.” The cost of the archway was about $60,000.

Contributing Writer