City making headway in attempts to revitalize Lincoln Cemetery

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Lincoln Cemetery has been in disrepair for years, but a newly formed city committee is figuring out what needs to be done to bring the cemetery back to life.

Deputy Mayor Jeff Downes says the city's looking at two main ideas.

The first--bring the two people they believe own the property before a judge, determine who owns it and possibly file criminal charges for property neglect.

Second, they're thinking about forming a cemetery preservation authority to govern burials, and maintenance.

A recent state statute allows the city to appoint them even though the property is private.

Downes says the authority would be made up of local preservationists and residents.

"Basically the authority is stepping in when the owners have become absent. We're going to follow parallel paths on trying to hold the owners responsible as well as creating the authority. If at sometime the court's order and there's an ability for those owners to step up and do what they're responsible for, then we'll push that," says Downes.

Downes says it could be years before the criminal charges would take affect.

There was talk of someone buying the property to fix it up.  But he says he doesn't know of anybody looking to do that.

Downes said there are no city dollars allotted for clean up.

These suggestions still have to go before the city council for approval.

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