Now Cox hopes to seal up the rest of the building. "We were hoping the roof would take care of that. It hasn't."
According to the grant application, repairs would include re-pointing and sealing of the mortar joints, sealing all the limestone walls, replacing window glass, covering air vents to keep out water and replacing the rotted front doors.
Because the cemetery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, all repairs have to follow Department of Interior standards.
Competition for the grants is stiff, said Pam Brooks, grants coordinator at the SHPO office. She expected 40 to 50 applications for the $500,000 or so SHPO typically awards. Winners will be announced in July.
The awards are 50/50 matching, so the city would have to match up to $50,000 of state money. At the cemetery, the board of the Spring Hill Cemetery Park Combined Endowment Fund has agreed to provide the city's match, said Henry Battle, the group's treasurer.
City and cemetery officials are counting on the grant money to fix the mausoleum exterior. There's no Plan B if the funds don't come through.
And there's no plan to re-hang the interior marble panels with a modern system.
Cox said he had no idea how much that would cost. "I haven't even gone there yet. We'll have to look for funding to continue the repairs. We may have to look outside the box and think of a fundraiser."
City Manager David Molgaard has made it clear he doesn't want any more money from the city's general fund going toward building repairs.
Taxpayers already subsidize cemetery operations to the tune of nearly $1 million a year, said Joe Estep, the city's finance director.
The base budget -- mostly salaries and budgets -- tops $760,000 for the 2013-14 fiscal year. Capital costs for vehicles and other equipment add another $122,000.
The cemetery is in bad financial shape because it was poorly managed years ago, Battle said. No one bothered to set aside money for continued maintenance and operations.
The endowment fund has what seems like a substantial balance -- $2.05 million as of late March. But most of that can't be spent, Battle said. Income available for spending totaled $122,393, he said.
"We use it for capital improvements. ... We do not want to use it for operating costs," he said. "So the mausoleum -- that's what we'd use it for."
If the grant is not awarded, the foundation board may not cover the difference, Battle said. "We have not talked about doing anything else.
"Also, I object, and surely the board would feel -- the city has a responsibility to take care of the mausoleum," he said.
"We know it's a big expense. We'll try to get the city to come up with the money, and we'll search for other grants."
Reach Jim Balow at ba...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5102.