A Monday work session with the Kalona City Council and Shiloh directors brought up a potentially touchy situation.
Shiloh has a small cemetery and columbarium in the middle of its 200-acre property, which the city would like to see moved in order to proceed with the proposed voluntary annexation of the church property.
“It would be a detriment to any development to have it right in the middle,” Mayor Ken Herington said.
Currently, there are 16 full burials at the site, along with 23 urns, some of which are in the columbarium.
City Administrator Ryan Schlabaugh explained that a state permit would be required to move any full burial, but not for urns.
“We would be much better served to take it off site,” Schlabaugh said.
Shiloh Director Steve Rich said that the families of the buried people should be contacted to discuss their wishes.
“I think this would have to be a joint project,” Herington added.
Schlabaugh suggested that the city and Shiloh partner with local funeral directors to come up with the best approach to contact the families.
“They know what to say in these situations,” Herington agreed.
Shiloh has another cemetery to the east of its property on Nutmeg Avenue.
Schlabaugh said that the city could work with the families to offer them a spot in that cemetery or in Sharon Hill Cemetery.
“We would work with what’s most appropriate with the families,” he said.
Schlabaugh also gave an update on legal matters of the proposed deal.
“The legal opinions are being reviewed,” he said. “Our attorney is comfortable where we’re at.”
He added that the city’s attorney has requested to review the memorandum of understanding that detailed Shiloh’s split with The Living Word Fellowship, its former parent organization.
Schlabaugh said he would like the City Council to consider at next week’s meeting having the attorney begin drawing up legal documents for the proposed voluntary annexation.