UNION SPRINGS, AL (WSFA) - Mason Cemetery sits along Highway 223 in Union Springs, home to well over a hundred graves and a retaining wall that's beginning to show its age.
Near the middle, erosion has caused a partial collapse, giving way to a large crack at the base, an opening that's created small rivers of mud and water on the sidewalk. Over time, this could be a real problem for the graves not far away from the ledge.
"We didn't want the hill to come down and didn't want to have problems with the grave sites up there on this hill up here," said Union Springs Mayor Saint Thomas.
The initial question was whether this was a city problem or one belonging to the Alabama Department of Transportation since the wall is on the edge of Highway 223.
"We thought it belonged to the state to the wall part out here but it didn't," he said.
That question was settled late Tuesday afternoon with the city learning it owns the cemetery. Mayor Thomas has no idea how much it'll cost to repair it. The wall is around 200 feet long and anywhere from eight to 10 feet wide. Replacing the entire wall is probably out of the question, according to the mayor, unless the city gets a big grant.
What's not in doubt is something needs to be done and done soon. Repairs on the partial collapse will likely begin on Sept. 5, the day after Mayor Thomas makes his recommendations to the city council.
Mayor Thomas says there is a good chance that part of Highway 223 will need to be closed so heavy equipment can get in place.