Council looks at cleaning up Pisgah Cemetery

By ED HOWELL, Daily Mountain Eagle
Posted 5/18/17

CARBON HILL — The Carbon Hill City Council on Monday discussed possible solutions to fund mowing the Pisgah Cemetery, including the mayor’s idea of a possible increase in the garbage fee.

District 2 Councilman Clarence Colbert brought up the …

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Council looks at cleaning up Pisgah Cemetery

Posted

CARBON HILL — The Carbon Hill City Council on Monday discussed possible solutions to fund mowing the Pisgah Cemetery, including the mayor’s idea of a possible increase in the garbage fee.

District 2 Councilman Clarence Colbert brought up the subject during a council work session, as he had visited the cemetery during Mothers Day.

He said the front of the cemetery was mowed to make it look good, but going deeper into the cemetery reveals little work has been done toward the graves. He also said plots are still available there and new graves are dug.

District 5 Councilwoman Suzanne Atkins agreed, saying the last time she had visited, the weeds were as high as her waist, hindering her from finding a relative’s grave.

Pisgah Cemetery is located at Fifth Street NW and Eighth Avenue NW.

Mayor Mark Chambers agreed the cemetery is “terrible” and said a cemetery committee exists. However, since bingo revenue dried up, funds are now scarce for mowing the old cemetery.

“We paid a couple of people $1,500 and they wouldn’t do it again,” he said.

Councilman Brandon Tannehill said the problem was the fee, noting he was with a group of four for who mowed it one summer for 80 hours each.

The mayor said to do the mowing regularly would likely take $2,000, noting it is difficult to even use a push mower due to different elevations. He also pointed to working around bricks, spikes and other items in the cemetery, which are rough on the weed eaters.

“Andrew Manasco cut it for $1,500 and it took four of his men three days,” Chambers said. Tannehill said it takes about a week to cut it.

“It is a nightmare,” he said, noting grass is growing up close to blocks and bricks that it ruins weed eater lines. “You will burn through three or four spools of line at $12 to $15 a roll.” 

City officials discussed how much was in the cemetery fund, but it was unclear among them Tuesday afternoon exactly how much was available, with estimates ranging up to $40,000.

The mayor noted when he took office he successfully spearheaded raising the garbage fee $3, from $9.75 up to $12.75. Atkins said a new truck was purchased at the time.

Chambers noted the county charges $14.75 a month. For $2 less, the city is picking up twice a week, or eight times a month, while the county picks up four times a month, he said. “So we’re picking it up for $6 and something to the county’s $14 and something,” Chambers said.

He suggested raising Carbon Hill’s garbage fee to $14.75, and use $1 of the increase for cemetery committee. At 1,300 stops, he said that would give the committee $1,300 a month for cemetery maintenance. The committee could just cut it every other month, and he noted some winter months would not require cutting. Also, the committee is drawing interest on CDs to be able to fund cutting the new cemetery at $400 a month.

Chambers said some citizens were mad when the garbage rates were last raised, but another increase would put it even with the county rate.

“If we continue to let the cemetery grow, it is going to be so overgrown you can’t get in there, period,” Colbert said.

Chambers said donations are rarely mailed in anymore for the cemeteries. Officials said the new cemetery is not a perpetual care cemetery.