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Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016

Officials want to get paid for upkeep on cemetery

Friday, August 24, 2007

BENTON -- Scott County commissioners will attempt to be paid for the upkeep work done by the county in the Forrest Hills Memorial Cemetery in Morley.

During the commission's regular meeting on Thursday, Commissioner Dennis Ziegenhorn broached the idea of asking Joel Evans, county developer, to file a lien on the cemetery.

"If it ever sells, then we can get some of the money we've spent for upkeep back," Ziegenhorn said.

"Let's do it," agreed Jamie Burger, presiding commissioner.

The cemetery and two others, Memorial Park Cemetery and Garden of Memories Cemetery in Sikeston, were all abandoned by their owner, Mike Graham and Associates of Houston, Texas.

The lien process is similar to what the city of Sikeston has done in reference to the cemeteries it has been responsible for keeping up, pointed out Commissioner Ron McCormick.

The county has kept track of the money spent since it assumed upkeep responsibilities in mid-March. Mowing costs alone have totaled $3,750, according to Rita Milam, county clerk.

Ziegenhorn said the county continues to receive comments that the cemetery is well-kept. He also pointed out expenses have tapered off over the last 30 days with the drought conditions.

"There is a purchaser," he continued. "We keep expecting to hear any day that they're going to transfer the deed."

The attorney general's office is in negotiations with Dale Birk of Jackson to purchase the three area cemeteries, the commissioners said.

The county has collected $3,000 for selling lots there. If sold, that money would go to the new owner. With the lien, the county should be reimbursed, however, for whatever funds are accrued for the upkeep.

Also at the meeting, commissioners discussed the Regional County Commissions meeting they will host on Oct. 24, in Sikeston.