Durant hears complaints about cemetery maintenance - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Durant hears complaints about cemetery maintenance

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Highland Cemetery (KTEN) Highland Cemetery (KTEN)

DURANT, Okla. -- Durant and many other Oklahoma cities are dealing with thin wallets these days, but one place they should probably not go digging for money is the local graveyard.

The city’s Cemetery Advisory Board received an earful from concerned citizens Thursday afternoon about why they think the city is failing to properly pay respect to their loved ones as well as others.

"Brought forward today are some issues regarding the maintenance of the cemetery," Durant City Manager Tim Rundel said. "Obviously we had some folks here this afternoon that are very passionate about the care that the cemetery currently has."

From sunken-in monuments and uneven plots to broken fences and potentially hazardous roads, citizens complained that city-owned Highland Cemetery could use some work.

"We have a couple of cemeteries here in Durant that we maintain, and we shouldn't just view those as a 'pocket park,' or a place where kids are going to play," the city manager said. "These are things were people come on a quite regular basis to pay respect to their loved ones, and we should be respectful in how the cemetery looks."

And while a number of these issues might be blamed on forces of nature, vandalism is always a concern as well.

The Board is planning on making a recommendation to the Durant City Council about establishing a penalty for trespassing at a cemetery after dark.

"I'd like to say that their complaints were heard, and we plan on taking action," Rundel said.

The next scheduled meeting of the Cemetery Advisory Board is October 19 at the Durant City Hall Conference Room.