Property maintenance employees addressed the city council Monday, offering suggerstions on how to keep the city’s cemetery looking attractive for years to come. | Austin Nelson
Property maintenance employees addressed the city council Monday, offering suggerstions on how to keep the city’s cemetery looking attractive for years to come. | Austin Nelson

Archived Story

Cleaning up the cemetery

Published 12:20pm Friday, February 22, 2013

Changes proposed for city cemetery

There might be a few changes happening to the city cemetery.

Property maintenance employees addressed the city council Monday and described several problems at the cemetery – from graves caving in to fences in need of repair.

Tim Blankenship, property maintenance supervisor for Alexander City, said that some graves have collapsed because they don’t have a vault or liner.

“This is a problem every cemetery has when they allow burials with just caskets,” Blankenship said. “Over time, the caskets deteriorate and the ground settles.”

Blankenship said at the moment it isn’t a huge problem, but it is one that he thinks needs to be addressed to keep the cemetery looking good in the future.

“A lot of cemeteries won’t allow burial without some sort of vault or liner,” Blankenship said. “A casket isn’t designed to bear all the weight of the soil. A liner or vault helps keep the casket from being crushed and keeps the soil more stable.”

Blankenship recommended the council adopt an ordinance requiring all future graves be equipped with a protective liner or vault.

City employees also said there is a growing problem at the cemetery of people walking their dogs and allowing them to urinate and defecate.

Blankenship said that the canine waste accumulating at the cemetery is becoming a problem and he has proposed banning dogs from the grounds.

“I think it is very disrespectful – that is just my personal opinion,” Blankenship said.

Blankenship also added maintenance employees often find this waste after it is too late.

“If you are out there in August in 100 degree weather, you find all these piles,” Blankenship said. “If you step on it in the morning, you are stuck with it all day. I hope I don’t offend anyone by trying to do this, but it is just a the cemetery have fallen into disrepair.

“There are places where tree limbs have fallen on the fence and a couple of instances where people cut through the fence instead of just walking around,” Blankenship said.

While none of the proposed changes are major, Blankenship said together they could help keep Alexander City’s cemetery looking attractive.

“A lot of people that come to the city look at the cemetery first to see how well the city maintains it,” Blankenship said. “That really show how much pride the citizens take in the city.”

The next regularly scheduled council meeting is March 4 at 5 p.m. at the municipal courtroom.

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