A Roseboro cemetery committee member stood before the town board during Tuesday night’s meeting and voiced his disapproval over the board’s recent decision to put lights in the NC 242 Hwy/Salemburg Hwy cemetery while a citizen expressed concern over how differently Roseboro’s two cemeteries are maintained.
Listed on the agenda, Dino Williams began by asking the board to “enlighten” him as to why they thought lights were needed in the cemetery.
Commissioner Anthony Bennett explained that there had been some crime in the cemetery at night and the board hoped placing lights there would deter this crime.
“What kind of crimes?” asked Williams.
Bennett listed examples, including drug use.
“Well, I disagree with you,” replied Williams.
Williams then informed the board that for the past five years he had been trying to get various things approved and done for the cemetery but his efforts had been fruitless.
“Now you all want to put lights out there?” continued Williams. “Do you know that there’s a cemetery committee that you need to talk to before this can be approved?”
Mayor David Alexander quickly answered that the committee makes recommendations to the board, not the other way around.
“The board has decided,” stated Alexander.
“Well, there’s 20 people out there missing already,” said Williams.
Williams went on to give another example of his unmet recommendations, explaining that when the people in charge of caring for the cemetery mow the grass, their tractors hit the small, metal grave markers that are used on numerous graves. He said that the markers then go flying into the nearby woods, resulting in unmarked and unknown graves.
Williams recalled that in the past he had tried to get flat, permanent markers put in the cemetery to replace the small, metal stakes but again his efforts were to no avail.
“Now you want to put lights out there,” repeated Williams, holding up a bent metal grave marker. “That don’t make no kind of sense.”
Bennett asked Williams who was on the cemetery committee with him and promised to talk to him later about the issue.
However, the discussion over Roseboro’s cemeteries didn’t stop there.
When commissioner Roland Hall began discussing the need for more plots in the Snowhill cemetery, Roseboro citizen Betty Maxwell commented on the differences in how the two Roseboro cemeteries are kept.
“It’s a shame about the cemetery. Some of the board members don’t even know it’s there. I think the board should go out and look at the two cemeteries and see the differences. You have two cemeteries,” Maxwell reminded the board. “They’re not maintained the same.”
Commissioner Alice Butler, who said that she had been on the board since last January and admitted that she wasn’t aware there was a cemetery committee, suggested that the committee look into these issues and report back, putting the topic to rest for the time being.
Lauren Williams can be reached at 910-592-8137, ext. 123 or via email at email@example.com.