Resting place resisted

Published 11:27 am Saturday, June 5, 2010

COURTLAND—Courtland Mayor Lewis Davis promised during a Thursday meeting that no additional taxes will be levied to expand the town’s cemetery, but that’s not what Gayle Lowdermilk wanted to hear.

“I’m not in favor of that,” said Lowdermilk, claiming the cemetery will be at her back door.

Lowdermilk was among several who complained about the town’s plans to buy an 8-acre field at Rochelle Street and Flaggy Run Road for about $100,000. The land is needed because nearby Riverside Cemetery in Courtland is filling up.

About a year ago, town council decided to only sell plots to residents of Courtland.

The proposed cemetery will have 200 to 300 plots. The cemetery will have one exit and one entrance.

Davis said he foresees no construction problems, and that the property is well drained.

“It won’t affect your tax rate,” he said.

The plots in the new cemetery can be sold to anyone for $10 a square foot, not just residents of Courtland. The plots will sell for $10 a square foot.

Some residents said it was unfair for children in the neighborhood to see a cemetery every day. Questions were raised as to what the polite gesture would be should a funeral occur while throwing a party, or cutting grass.

“It doesn’t make sense to have a cemetery in a residential area,” one Rochelle Street resident said.

Several people came prepared, even speaking with Realtors beforehand to see if the property of homes surrounding the cemetery would be affected. They argued that the value may not be affected, but selling of their homes could be difficult.

Suggestions were made for alternative locations, and questions were raised as to why the cemetery needed to be in town limits.

Not all were opposed to the plan. Some voiced no objections and offered their support to progress with the plan.