GLENS FALLS — The city is attempting to bring the 165-year-old Glens Falls Cemetery into the digital age.
The Glens Falls Cemetery Commission is spending $17,440 to purchase a new computer, software and services from CemSites Software of Pennsylvania to create a complete cemetery map of lots, plots and graves.
City Historian Wayne Wright, who is also a cemetery commissioner, said Tuesday he wants to make sure the records are up to date and create a searchable database of the plots.
“The maps for the cemetery are all hand-done and very hard to read in some cases. What we’re going to do is create an electronic map, with the help of this company, that will cover each plot,” he said.
Any documents and paperwork with that plot will be attached to the digital map, according to Wright.
He has a listing of all the burials in the cemetery on Bay Street as close as he can determine.
“This will tell me whether there are errors. It will allow us to sell some of the lots that are hanging around that were never purchased,” he said. “They’re kind of hard to find at this point because of the way the layout is.”
The company will use the hard copy maps that Wright has scanned and labeled, and the deeds, and import them into the software. He also has interment cards.
The city will get a finished product from the vendor that is ready to use. Wright said someone will be able to enter a name into the system and find out exactly where that person is buried.
“It is completely searchable and maintainable on the local level,” he said.
The project should be completed in a year.
Officials tapped $5,710 from contingency funds to supplement the money the Cemetery Department had in its budget.
Wright said he researched six or seven companies that provide this type of service, and CemSites Software seemed to offer the best product. A formal bid was not required because it is under the city’s bid threshold.
“I feel like I’ve done my due diligence,” he said.
In addition to finding open plots for sale, Wright said the city will be able to track down some of the owners of the plots to collect the money owed to the city for annual care.
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Michael Goot covers politics, the city of Glens Falls, the town and village of Lake George and other northern Warren County communities. Reach him at 518-742-3320 or firstname.lastname@example.org and follow his blog at http://poststar.com/blogs/michael_goot/.