Nashville community outraged after cemetery changes

Nashville community outraged after cemetery policy changes

NASHVILLE, Ga. (WALB) - Members of the Nashville community are outraged about new rules set in place at city-ran cemeteries.

Several weeks ago, city officials placed the signs of rules and regulations here at Westview cemetery and four others across the City of Nashville.

Members of the Nashville community are outraged about new rules set in place at city-run cemeteries.
Members of the Nashville community are outraged about new rules set in place at city-run cemeteries. (Source: WALB)

The community shared that their issue comes down to one particular rule that says that there is no allowance of breakable containers, figurines, or things that may cause a hazard to those who cut the grass.

“It’s a part of the grieving process that I never thought we would face,” said Libby Dean, who has family at the cemetery.

Dean is just one of many with family at this cemetery saying their grieving has been interrupted.

Dean said she is upset because she thinks the city is becoming too strict.

“I don’t think any of us just want a blank monument out here. If we did, we would have bought a lot in one of the cemeteries that that’s all they allow," said Dean.

The rules only allow one flower arrangement per unit, no metal stands, no cast iron or concrete benches, no figurines and a number of other items that can currently be found at the site.

“We want it to look nice. We want the cemetery to be well maintained and in order to do that we have to implement the new rules," said Mayor of Nashville, Michael Richbourg,

Richbourg said the excessive decorations are costing city workers’ time and therefore costing taxpayers’ money.

Something Danny Ray said might be worth it.

“Certainly it’s good to try to salvage as much tax money as possible, but I also believe that we need to spend those monies where necessary," said Ray.

Officials have begun collecting items that are no longer regulation and allowing citizens to come pick them up.

“I’m not happy with anybody touching anybody’s stuff that is out here at a cemetery. That is called stealing," said Wendy Harnage.

To honor their loved ones their way, Harnage and many others say that they are willing to step up for their own.

“I’m willing to keep those spots up. They don’t ever have to touch those. We have a weed eater. We have a mower," said Harrage.

Dean said that she has a suggestion on how to move forward and deal with this issue.

“We need a committee. We need representatives from all those cemeteries. We need to put together and get some solutions and come back to the table with the city so this is not such a dramatic loss for people," said Dean.

People in this area and those who have loved ones at this cemetery, tell me that they’re not sitting down on this issue.

They anticipate going to the next city council meeting to ensure that their voices are heard.

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