Who Is Responsible For Maintaining Tombstones At City Cemeteries…Families Or The City? [Poll]
According to a recent article in the Courier Press, there is a big debate about who ultimately is responsible for maintaining tombstones in some of our cemeteries like Locust Hill and Oak Hill. The issue was raised because of the number of tombstones that are damaged, knocked over or simply falling apart due to age and lack of upkeep. Vandals have recently struck at both cemeteries, but the problem has been going on for years. Evansville Transportation and Services Executive Director Todd Robertson says the city is only responsible for the upkeep of the property and grave preparation, while the families are responsible for the tombstones. This notion is not sitting well with a lot of people who have loved ones in these cemeteries.
Granted, some of the markers are so old, the inscriptions are no longer visible, but some believe that in addition to vandals, part of the problem with toppled tombstones is because they are bumped or hit by lawn mowers.
Randy Gaiser, whose grandfather, Pops Gaiser was superintendent at Locust Hill from 1943 to 1948 and from 1952 to 1955 says the problem needs to be addressed. Pops Gaiser is buried at Locust Hill and his tombstone has fallen over. The younger Gaiser says, "there is no way it just fell over or some kid could have knocked it over, if someone mowing the grass hits it, just fix it." Gaiser added how disturbing it is to see cemeteries in this kind of condition and many others in town feel the same way he does.
There are other cemeteries where the property itself is in such bad shape, loved ones cannot get in there to do the proper upkeep. Also, it is believed if the gates were being locked when they should be, the problem would not be so bad. Many people are demanding action one way or the other, but like anything else, that will take time.