ELLISVILLE, MS (WDAM) - A Jones County man is angry with the city of Ellisville over the condition of a historic city cemetery that has many broken headstones and other damage.
Johnny Pool said the city should either make repairs or allow him to do so.
“It’s just sad to see it keep going downhill, it’s just downhill, downhill, downhill and nothing is ever done,” Pool said.
Ellisville Mayor Lynn Buckhaults said the city is doing all it legally can to care for the cemetery, which was deeded to the city in 1930.
“It is on our maintenance schedule routinely, the grass-cutting, the limb picking up and stuff like that,” Buckhaults said.
“We’ll fill a grave in if it gets sunken with dirt, or whatever, but the cement work, the brick work, the headstones, it’s not the responsibility of the city,” said Buckhaults.
“That’s private property by the individual families that are there.”
Pool said he and others would be willing to spend their own money to make repairs or replace the headstones, but Buckhaults said that might not be legal.
“I think for them to do that scope of work, that would be between them and the family of the grave sites,” Buckhaults said.
Moreover, Buckhaults says neither Pool nor anyone else has ever approached him about the issue.
He’s been mayor for a year-and-a-half.
“Let’s talk about the concerns and look towards solutions,” Buckhaults said.
Pool believes the best solution would be to let him and other concerned citizens do the work.
“If somebody’s willing to do (the work), (city officials) should be willing to work with the person that wants to do it,” Pool said.
Buckhaults said the city engineer will soon survey the cemetery property, to determine what parts specifically belong to the city.