The cost of maintaining a cemetery

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – How do you plan on celebrating your mom this Mother’s Day?

For some it’s a time for visiting a lost loved one, but too often cemeteries where people are laid to rest look less than peaceful.

A Mother’s Day visit to family graves often shines a light on plots choked with weeds and overgrown with neglect.

“A lot of times you’ll have wind damage, you’ll have vandalism, limbs fall and so forth, so you have to maintain those as much as you can,” said Dean Strohm, president of the City Council in Clinton.

There are only two cemeteries in Clinton but Strohm said maintaining them is not an easy task.

The winter storms took a toll on some stones at Riverside Cemetery, the oldest cemetery of the two.

“Our tombstones are very old and very fragile,” said Strohm.

It’s not just the harsh winter that plays a role, but there is also a financial strain.

It cost the city over $100,000 a year to maintain the cemeteries.

“If you sell a lot today at maybe $300 then that never changes and your maintenance for that lot is for eternity,” said Strohm.

From lawn care services once a week, to road maintenance, the upkeep can be costly on a tight budget.

“We do have a labor force but it’s only two people that are assigned to the cemetery, so it’s not that you have a whole workforce that you can dedicate to that,” said Strohm.

Despite the difficulties they put in extra effort before holiday weekends.

“They’ve entrusted us with the maintaining of that cemetery for their loved ones and we intend to fulfill that obligation,” said Strohm.

If you live in Clinton and notice a problem at once of the local cemeteries you are asked to contact the mayor’s office.

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