Complaints About Ashland Cemetery Continue to Pour In

Published 08/08 2014 03:09PM

Updated 08/09 2014 02:43PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Thick grass and tall weeds cover hundreds of headstones at Ashland Cemetery.

It's a problem St. Joseph inspectors have dealt with for years.

"We've had period complaints, a lot of them come around Memorial Day, when out of town people come to visit their family members there," said Steve Hofferber, Associate Director for Inspections and Code Enforcement

The owner of the cemetery has been under fire because of the poor maintenance.

She's broken several violations, received multiple citations and owes thousands of dollars.

"She's been appearing in court once a month to retrack her payment schedule. She has to appear before a judge and explain where she's at," said Hofferber.

All 46 acres of Ashland Cemetery is not covered with grass and weeds, however, it still needs a lot of work.

"A lot of it is in pretty good shape, but then there's also a lot of areas where they've mowed it, but they haven't trimmed around the gravesites themselves," he said.

Although the owner didn't want to talk on camera, she did tell us she's in the process of selling the cemetery and understands its had ups and downs.

After handling it for nearly two decades, she said it's time to pass it on.

"Clearly, she's having difficulty maintaining it, and I'm sure it's a financial issue. And, if she reaches a point where that's not going to change, she probably would be better off," said Hofferber.

Landscapers are currently cleaning up the cemetery and weeding out the worst; getting it ready to be sold.

They plan to have the nearly 50-acre lot all spick and span within a few days.

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