City committee working toward solution for neglected cemetery

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - After an hour and a half and many trips to the microphone, city councilmen and residents believe they made some progress.

"Once you get them started, they carry it through," says Montgomery resident K.T. Brown.

While it may be a slow go, the city's taking steps to make sure they don't overstep their boundaries at Lincoln Cemetery.

"There are some State of Alabama constitutional issues that limits the city's right to go on private property," says Montgomery Deputy Mayor, Jeff Downes.

Over the years, the city has invested more than $24,000 for occasional cleanups and efforts to keep the place safe.

And while the mystery of who owns the property is still unsolved, Downes says there are ways to clear that up, too.

"To seek the court's declaration of who is the rightful owner. Another means could be trying to take who we feel is the owner right now and pushing the envelope there."

Now, the city will decide whether to take that next step and go to court.

K.T. Brown's just happy it's on the table.

"I want to see the city, if necessary, to do maintenance.  Do it."

Funeral homes are still prohibited from burying people in Lincoln Cemetery due to the city's cease and desist order.

The city council is expected to address lifting that order soon.

The committee will meet again in April.  But for now, they'll research what other states are doing about neglected cemeteries.

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