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Kimball cemetery goes high-tech with new kiosk


Tonia Copeland

A digital kiosk now stands where the cemetery directory once did. The kiosk, an electronic version offering the same information, will be easily updated and allows for family members to add photos and memorials for loved ones buried at the Kimball Cemetery.

The Kimball cemetery went high-tech this April when the original Kimball cemetery directory was replaced with a digital kiosk.

The kiosk shows the area where graves are located by section, lot and grave numbers, as the directory before it did, except now the information is viewed electronically.

The cemetery board voted to purchase the new kiosk in September with memorial funds. The cost was $25,200, and the kiosk was delivered at the end of March.

"Donations (were) received or money pledged for overall capital items of the cemetery that the board controls," City Administrator Daniel Ortiz said. "When presented with this option, they really wanted to move forward."

"Robinson Electric set up the new wiring from the meter main, approximately 430 feet, which included boring underground for some segments of the new electrical service," Ortiz added.

The kiosk, fully operational since April 16, can be updated from the computer system with a simple thumb drive, according to Ortiz. It is a way to keep records updated and to make finding a gravestone easier, specifically for those coming in from out-of-town, Ortiz said.

"The directory will be updated quarterly," Ortiz said. "It is very easy and efficient to use."

Additional features allow for uploading photos, obituaries or even a virtual memorial, which allows users to write personal narratives.

"We have talked with the mortuary here in Kimball and they are offering that type of information to people, as an option, as a family member passes away," Ortiz said. "To memorialize, and to write a little caption as to who they were and what were some of the fun things they liked to do in life."

The Windy Prairie kiosk features a touch screen and has a search option that allows a user to search via last name. Windy Prairie Systems, Inc. is located in Indianola, Nebraska.

"I think the voice prompt and touch screen will hopefully orient people that they can access the information and navigate this easily enough," Ortiz said. "And if not then we would be happy to come out or our cemetery crew can help."

The all-weather kiosk is currently covered from weather by several large pine trees, however, future plans include a possible gazebo or other cover.

"There was some initial conversation about trying to look at building something to better shelter this piece of equipment," Ortiz said. "We can maybe do it as a community project and maybe partner with one of the social groups in town or maybe even the high school, if they wish."


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