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Published: Friday, 6/3/2005

Costs of excavating cemetery discussed

Officials from Lucas County and the city of Maumee met with developers yesterday and began negotiating how to pay for excavation of an old cemetery found at a construction site along River Road.

The Mannik & Smith Group, a local firm that removed the remains of 46 people from the site in Maumee, will charge about $30,000 for the project.

R.C. Young, who owns the property at 2500 River Road, said the excavation cost him up to $34,000 in equipment and labor costs associated with developing the land. He is hoping the city and county will help cover those expenses.

When the excavations began about a month ago, Mr. Young, city and county officials, and the development firm of CSB Investors Inc. agreed tentatively to split the cost. At that time, they expected to find fewer than a dozen sets of remains.

"When it got to be 46 , I think it was somebody's mistake, and it's not totally our responsibility," Maryann Sluhan of CSB Investors said. "This is more someone else's responsibility than I originally thought."

She referred to a Blade article that reported county officials found human remains on the property in 1956 and reburied the bodies at the site.

Experts believe the site, formerly the Miami Children's Home, was used as a burial ground for the poor in the late 1800s.

The excavated remains were taken to the Lucas County Coroner's Office, where authorities are examining them. The remains will be buried at Riverside Cemetery in Maumee.

The local officials and developers agreed to meet again in two weeks to further discuss how to share costs.

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