Mon, Jan. 27

Letter: Grave concerns about cemetery


"Grave" issues: Eleven years ago my parents purchased four graves in Clarkdale's Valley View Cemetery. They were told that there were plans to plant grass where there was none at that time and generally spruce up the cemetery.

I wonder when those plans are going to be accomplished. Last year I read in the newspaper that the budget included a nice sum for the purpose of improving the cemetery and planting grass. According to the article, the well that was needed to support planting grass had finally been finished.

It would be nice if the Town of Clarkdale would publish their schedule for improvements to the cemetery in the newspaper or advise why improvements are not being made. Please do not give us the "drought" excuse. That one is old and worn out. Golf courses are watered, but cemeteries are ignored? This cemetery has been overlooked far too long!

The cemetery looks exactly the same as it did 11 years ago when our graves were purchased. Dirt piles move around, roads are graded periodically and weeds are mowed down, but the grassed areas have not increased and the entrance road has continued to erode away.

If you want to have a nice floral arrangement (real or artificial) on your loved one's grave ... forget it! They are stolen within days, possibly even hours, of when you place them there. When I asked the Town of Clarkdale why a gate could not be installed at the very narrow entrance to the cemetery, I was told that it would cost too much to have an employee go out to open and close the gate everyday.

Why not install a motorized gate on a timer set to open at dawn and close at dusk depending on the season. I realize that is a radical concept for this small town but I have seen this very thing working elsewhere. People are resilient and will arrange to visit during the hours the cemetery is open.

All you need to do is establish those hours and post them ... by the gate would be good. I am sure the visitor traffic after dusk is not huge, but vandals love those dusk to dawn hours for their nefarious activities.

How about we make it not quite so easy for them to violate the graves of our dearly departed?

Keep on top of the situation by keeping in touch with the funeral home keep notes of whom you spoke to, when you spoke to them and what they told you. These issues can cause much stress for those left behind. It is very unpleasant having to deal with losing a loved one after a long illness and trying to make sure their final resting place is marked in the manner you expect and paid for.

Jai Hurst


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