Council Hears Cemetery Concerns

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At the May meeting of the Greenville City Council, approximately 20 persons were in attendance, concerned about the condition of Mt. Auburn Cemetery on the east side of Greenville.

The cemetery is owned by a private family from Vandalia and is not in the Greenville city limits. Also at the council meeting were Bond County Board members Howard Elmore and Wes Pourchot, and State’s Attorney Chris Bauer.

Shane Weathers was the first of five people to speak to the council about the cemetery issue. He said the condition of the cemetery has declined over the years.

A woman in attendance alleged that one of the owners recently approached her, while she was visiting the cemetery, and was allegedly belligerent toward her and threatened to call police if she didn’t leave.

Weathers said many of those laid to rest in the cemetery were born here and died here and deserve better treatment than they’ve received recently. Weathers suggested the City of Greenville and Bond County work together to create a committee or board to oversee the cemetery.

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Councilman John Gillard, who was chairing the meeting since Mayor Alan Gaffner was out of town on a work-related matter, responded to Weathers. He said there is a moral obligation to work with the county and families to figure out a solution to the problem.

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Also during the meeting, complaints were presented about grave decorations being removed, piled up at the edge of the cemetery and burned. Weathers commented he understood the decorations can be removed, but apparently it happened all of a sudden.

Pictures were shown of U.S. flags in the burn pile and councilmen were asked how they felt about the flag being disposed in that manner. Gillard, a veteran, said it bothered him, but he didn’t know how to stop it.

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After the nearly one-hour discussion, the council went into executive session with City Attorney Patrick Schaufelberger, the two county board members and the state’s attorney.

No comments were made about the cemetery issue following the 45-minute closed session.