Chester Cemetery District saved valuable records just in time

By Gregg Scott

Staff Writer

From left, George Grams and Dennis Speciale are the two newest members of the Chester Cemetery District board of directors. The old saying, “Timing is everything” takes on a new meaning for these two as they come on into their positions just as the challenges of the Dixie Fire aftermath loom ahead. Photo by Gregg Scott

The Aug. 27 meeting of the Chester Cemetery Board had different venue than usual. The old courtroom facility in the county building that houses the Plumas Sheriff substation turned out to be a very adequate location as the new five-member board and four members of the public met to discuss the future of the cemetery.

Most folks in the Chester area already know that the cemetery office, all the outbuildings and most of the equipment was lost to the Dixie Fire. Due to the quick thinking of one of the board members the backhoe and some of the burial records were relocated just before the fire came through and were saved. This new board will be facing many challenges in the coming months, many of which cannot even be know until the county gives permission for them and the insurance representatives to access the site.

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The board’s top priorities are taking care any damage that was done to the physical cemetery and setting up a temporary office to accommodate any new internment requests along with determining exactly what the total losses of the district are and present them to the insurance company.

The two newest board members, Dennis Speciale and George Grams, were appointed to a committee to review and rewrite job descriptions for the cemetery employees. They were also charged with determining appropriate hours and compensation for the open General Manager position and posting it with the county to accept applications.

The board is very aware that there will be many hurdles in the process to get back to normalcy. They do invite the public to come and lend ideas and help as they take on these new tasks. The next board meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 9 at the county annex building next to the Chester Library.