First City of Kewanee Budget Session Held at the New Cemetery Building


The first budget session of the year was held in the new cemetery building after Director Kevin Newton gave city council members and me a tour of the new building. The City of Kewanee Cemetery Department and city officials have been discussing a new cemetery office and storage building for about 20 years. The old cemetery building needs a new roof; interior ceilings are falling from water leaking; and it has termite damage. Replacing the roof and repairing damage from the leaking roof could cost upwards of $100,000. Cemetery Director Kevin Newton thanked city council members for approving the funds for a new building. Kevin Newton said it’s nice to have all their equipment and supplies in one place instead of being in multiple places. He said, “I know it was an expensive ask.” Kevin Newton praised the workers in the cemetery department and said, “I have a great team behind me.”  The new building is 60 X 120, or approximately 7,200 square feet.  The cemetery department has all its vehicles, equipment, tools, files, and office space in one building now.  Valley Construction won the bid for the construction of the building.  Ratliff Bros. & Co. completed the exterior groundwork.  Two cemetery department workers were present for the tour of the building and echoed the need and gratitude for the new building.  Workers can work in a warm building with space to grow and without a leaking roof.  Kevin Newton said he and his team wanted to make sure they felt like the money for the new building was well spent while meeting the department’s needs. The building is connected to existing water and sewer lines.  Ameren ran a line to connect the cemetery building to the Ameren natural gas line.  The total cost for the building, ground work, concrete and rock, interior work, and connecting to utility lines was around $900,000.

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