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A West Michigan family believes they are being taken advantage of by a local cemetery

A West Michigan family believes they are being taken advantage of by a local cemetery. (WWMT/Raymond Hole)

The Marsh family claims they're being overcharged for placement of a large headstone in their family plot at the Galien Township Cemetery.

Gaynell Marsh's mother died October 2 and her mother's ashes are supposed to be buried in the family plot, but first a 30-inch deep foundation must be dug to hold the size and weight of the large headstone. Marsh said they don't trust the cemetery sexton will do the proper job for the amount of money he's asking.

She said, “I have her ashes, the stone is being carved right now and we have no foundation for it because they want $1127, which is just unbelievable.”

Marsh believes the cemetery sexton is overcharging her to build the headstone foundation.

She says not only is she worried about the price-but the quality of work of other foundations at the cemetery.

“There's one over there from 2010 that the corners are already missing from this foundation. Eight years later?” Marsh said, “He's not leveling the ground that you can see before he puts the foundations down because they're leaning already before ever put a monument on top of it.”

Galien Township Clerk Jennifer Richter, who is also the cemetery sexton's daughter, said the average foundation is five to six inches deep and cost 35 cents per square inch. She said the usual total for the average size foundation is $225, but because Marsh's headstone is five times the normal size, she's being charged five times the price.

Marsh said, “But what's an extra couple barrels full of cement going to cost? Not $900-some.”

Marsh says just by looking at other foundations she doesn't believe the sexton is digging the full six inches he's having families pay for.

“If he's not doing the six inches on what he's charging people for already,” Marsh said, “If we come up with the money to pay for the 30-inch deep foundation is it going to be that deep?”

The township clerk spoke on behalf of the sexton said they aren't sure where the claims of poor foundations are coming from and she said foundations are dug five to six inches.

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