The condition of a cemetery in Reynoldsville is causing concern from people who have loved ones buried there.
Family members say the grass looks like it hasn’t been cut in months- towering over some of the headstones.
They’re also upset about trees falling and taking weeks or months to remove.
One family member says it’s been getting worse each year and many people visiting the gravesites for the upcoming holiday will be upset.
“There’s a lot of people who have family members here that aren’t in the community any longer that they just come in for memorial day. When they come in and the grass is up to their knees and there’s a tree crashed on top of them, they need to know that because they did pay for the care,” says Christy Weaver who has a line of family buried in the Reynoldsville Cemetery.
She spends time making sure her loved one’s graves are in the best conditions-but she can’t say the same for the rest of the cemetery.
“My grandfather’s 85 he can’t get down that hill to do it anymore, so I’ve been doing it for him. It’s always the grass is extremely high the hillside itself is eroding.”
Grass higher than the headstones fallen trees, and retaining walls crumbling–Weaver says it’s unacceptable especially for families out of town.
“They need to know that because they did pay for the care.”
“In this cemetery you can clearly see where the grass has and has not been cut but the caretaker says the biggest challenge is mowing this hill,” says Melissa Steininger.
Caretaker of the cemetery, Donald Beford says, “you can’t mow it with a regular mower. You have to get a front mower and go up and down the hillside, which is hard on the legs and you have to use a weeder quite a bit”
Beford took over the cemetery four years ago.
He says it’s a lot ground to keep up with..and it’s expensive.
“There’s not enough money to cover it all- to pay for the whole cemetery and keep it up the way it should be kept up.”
Bedfor says they’re low on funds because the cemetery doesn’t actually see all the money loved ones pay for perpetual care.
“That goes to what is called a principle, we’re not allowed to spend that money we can only spend the interest from it. We weren’t making enough money in the interest to pay for the labor and cost to get the grass mowed”
He says he has employees- but does a lot of the work himself to keep the costs down.
“You can’t expect older people to climb this hill & push mowers,” Weaver says.
The two are hoping the community may be able to step up and help out
“Just to get some help from volunteers to help out the workers it would make it a lot easier”
And make this last resting place for loved ones, the best it can be