Farmington residents unhappy with upkeep of cemetery

Posted at: 05/22/2014 5:22 PM
By: Devin Neeley, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Beverly Bentz stands on the west side of Memory Gardens in Farmington and gestures to her left. She points out her father’s grave, her aunt and uncle’s grave and with a sweeping gesture south, explains that her brother rests in the veteran’s portion of the cemetery. She adds that she probably knows many of the others laid to rest here.

Recently though, she says the upkeep of the cemetery has not quite been up to par.

“You want a restful place, a beautiful place and it is not,” she laments.

The mostly brown grass crunches under your feet, weeds are the only green in some parts of the final resting place of some dating back to the 1950s and 1960s.

KOB Eyewitness News 4 asked management why and they tell us the irrigation was not running properly. The whole cemetery uses irrigation water, when the water was turned on about two weeks ago, they tell us they found that some pipes cracked in freezing temperatures over the winter.

“We repaired them over the weekend, tested them on Monday and the water is running wonderfully and we turned everything on, on Tuesday,” said Jerry Guttman of Serenity and Company, which has owned Memory Gardens for the last two years.

While the water is on now, and sprinklers are coaxing patches of green out from under the decidedly brown grass, Bentz says it is too little too late.

“My personal feeling is that this should have and could have been taken care of earlier than this,” said Bentz.

When reached by phone on Thursday, Guttman said they did all they could.

“As soon as we learned about it we started working on it. So, everything should green up.”

That's little solace to Bentz and her family, who just want a beautiful place to visit family members who are at Memory Gardens for eternity.

“It will probably be in good shape maybe in a month but that’s not Memorial Day, that’s not when it should be.”