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Bedford to combine sexton duties

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City to seek bids for cemetery upkeep

By Phyllis McLaughlin

The Trimble Banner

A plan to combine maintenance duties at Bedford Cemetery could end up saving the city money, according to city attorney Genon Hensley.

Hensley, a member of the Bedford Cemetery committee, asked commissioners Monday, March 15, to OK a plan to add mowing and other maintenance to the sexton position. Currently, the sexton is a contract employee responsible for opening and closing graves and making repairs. The city has a contract with someone else to mow the property.

With those duties combined, “there would be no question, then, as to who is responsible for keeping the cemetery looking nice,” Hensley said. “It would be the sexton’s responsibility.”

Hensley said the new sexton contract would be renewed annually, starting July 1.

Additionally, the commission approved a plan to allow people one year to pay off cemetery plot purchases. Hensley said part-time clerk Rita Davis has made headway in contacting several buyers who have paid deposits for plots but have never paid any more toward the full cost.

Hensley said letters have been mailed to these individuals, giving them the option to pay in full or give up their deposits and allow the plots to be resold.

Anyone wishing to buy plots over time must sign a contract that requires the plots be paid in full within 12 months of purchase. Hensley said under the contract, no one can be buried in a plot that is not paid off.

The commissioners agreed with the payment plan option.