Home Local Woman addresses council about cemetery issues By Shannon Hunter Correspondent

Woman addresses council about cemetery issues By Shannon Hunter Correspondent


The July 12, 2019 City Council meeting was pre-ceded by a Public Hearing to deal with 9 overgrown and nuisance properties. Mayor Moody and Council members Toney Thomas, Mike Ellis and Charlotte Blasingame were present. Neal McCurdy and Tammie Williams were absent.The overgrown property was 114 Drake Ave., Clar-ence T. & Nellie Trimble. The eight nuisance proper-ties were: An unnumbered property belonging to Janie Adams Alford & Carrie Alford, located just across the street from 218 6th. Ave. SE; another unnum-bered property at the corner of 6th. Ave, SE and 2nd. Place SE, owner Maurice Alford; 628 3rd. Place SE, owner Jackson C. Hill; 216 6th. Ave. SE, Dexter Lewis Holloway; 218 6th. Ave. SE, Daniel McClain; an un-numbered property on the West side of 218 6th. Ave. SE, Lionel & Nancy Pitt-man; 120 1st. SW, Esther & Timothy White; 625 2nd. Ave SW, Charmel White, owner.Code Enforcement Offi-cer Rodney Arwood accom-panied by City Attorney “Mac” Tucker informed the Council as to the condition of each of the properties, the notifications to the own-ers, posting of notices and signs of progress, if any.No one was present to represent the owners or to speak about any of the properties The Public hearing was then closed and the Council Meeting called to order, with the same Council Members present. The minutes of the July 22, 2019 Council meeting were approved.Mrs. Linda Parker, an oncology nurse, spoke from her experience on the need for awareness of ovarian and gynecologic cancers. The Mayor and Council voted to proclaim September to be Ovarian and Gynecologic Can-cer Awareness Month, authorizing the display of teal ribbons for the entire month.

addressed the Mayor and
Council on a number
of issues relating to the
City Cemetery. She began
by giving each of the
Council members a copy
of the current Ordinance
No. 320 governing the
three City cemeteries,
and commented that an
ordinance is meanigful
only if it is enforced.
She then described the
burial in violation of the
ordinance of Dr. James
Campbell. The ordinance
specifies that “No
vaults of any kind shall
be built or set in graves
so that the highest point
shall be less than 18
inches below the surface
of the ground.” One
corner of Dr. Campbell’s
vault is actually above
ground level, apparently
because the grave digger
hit rock and could go no
farther, but the vault was
placed in an excavation
too shallow to hold it.
Mrs. Jones then
recounted a personal
experience when her
sister-in-law was buried
in 2004. The excavators
hit rock, and they had to
move over to clear the
rock before the burial
could be carried out,
perhaps reducing the
number of usable grave
sites in the plot. In the
past year, a friend of
hers died, the family had
a similar experience: In
this case, the son, who
works in construction,
hired a crew to remove
enough rock to allow
a proper burial to take
The solution proposed
by Mrs. Jones was that
the City accept responsibility
for removing
rock that interferes with
proper burials, because
the purchasers buy plots
in good faith, expecting
to be able to use the purchased
cemetery plots
for burials. She also
suggested that it might
be time to enlarge the

cemetery if there is not
enough usable land in
the present cemetery.
At this point, Mrs.
Jones shifted to her continued
concern about any
path or road connecting
the cemetery to the
park., then made three
recommendations to the
Council: 1. the preparation
of an information
pamphlet, applicable to
both LaFayette Cemetery
and Handy Cemetery, to
be given to each purchaser
of a cemetery lot,
and for funeral directors
to give a copy to the
families of those about
to be buried.; 2. That
the City purchase the
equipment necessary for
the timely removal of
rock from grave sites; 3.
That any additions to the
LaFayette Cemetery or
the Handy Cemetery be
properly fenced and that
no additional entrances
for pedestrians or vehicles
be added to either
cemetery. The Council
referred the matter to the
Cemetery Committee,
and Mrs. Jones closed
by reminding the City of
their responsibility for
selling burial plots with
rock close to the surface.
The City Council
named Daryl Seroyer
as the City’s candidate
for representative on the
Chambers County Board
of Equalization and
Adjustment, a position
he now holds. They then
voted to renew the East
Alabama Planning Commission
Senior Center
Contract for 2020, and
approved unanimously
an off-premises beer and
wine license, as well as a
tobacco sales license for
the Family Dollar Store.
The surplus property
sale, approved in April,
has been tentatively set
for September 17. A
notice will be published
in the Sun.
After approving the
payment of bills totaling
$308,708, the Council
passed unanimously a
Budget Amendment, authorizing
the purchase of
one vehicle for the Water
& Sewer plant, replacing
one of those lost to fire
and collision. The other
was replaced with a
vehicle transferred from
another department.
The remaining Budget
surplus is estimated at
The next vote unanimously
declared the
property at 114 Drake
Ave. to be overgrown in
violation of ordinance
No. 367.
The Council then
revisited two nuisance
properties for which
the motion to declare
them nuisances had
been tabled, allowing
the owners some time
to undertake repairs:
Corner of 3rd. Ave. NE,
Timothy & Antoinette D.
Vines (now owned by a
Mr. Davenport), and 56
6th. Ave NW, Annette
The Vines/Davenport
property was tabled for
60 days, as progress
is being made. The
Busby property was condemned,
as no significant
progress has been made
since January, although a
building permit has been
The nuisance properties
that had been
discussed at the Public
Hearing were taken up
next. All were declared
to be in violation of Ordinance
No. 373, except
the McClain and Pittman
properties. These were
granted an additional 60
days, as progress is being
In their final action,
the Council voted unanimously
to accept the low
bid for the installation
of the 2nd. Ave. SW
water line, awarding the
contract to Apel Machine
& Supply Co., under the
condition that the bidder
complete registration
as a federally qualified
Video and agenda
available at www.lafayetteforcitizens..