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Water needs to keep flowing at cemetery

Bouquets and Barbs

Barb: In Wednesday’s edition of The Daily News, it was reported that the Iron Mountain City Council is considering closing the Cemetery Park spigots, because the water lines are old and they leak.

Putting a “water station near the entrance” is a poor substitute for the accessible spigots currently in place. Hauling water from a distant point to a gravesite is not a viable option, especially for seniors, who frequently visit the cemetery to care for loved ones’ graves. In many cases, seniors really enjoy planting real flowers and tending them. Lifting and carrying gallons of water can be exceptionally difficult and for some may pose a significant physical risk.

Eliminating the water supply also sets up the possibility that our beautiful Cemetery Park will look even more like a cheap exhibit of plastic flowers, gewgaws and junk, which do not need water. Once placed, they are often forgotten and left to fade in the sun and blow in the wind.

Cemetery lot rental is expensive, and “perpetual care” is supposed to be included. That cost has gone up over the years. People have also invested a lot of money in their headstones, with the expectation that their final resting place will continue as a park-like setting, not like a carnival sideshow.

One council member described the water system at Cemetery Park as “incredibly wasteful,” and that the cost to the city was about $1,500 per month, which is the cost of opening a grave. Open three graves and pay for the water! The water lines should be maintained and upgraded.

The mayor owns a greenhouse where customers purchase flowers to plant at Cemetery Park. I would hope that he would object to and block this move, which is justified by his council as “potentially” saving money.

I find it very irksome that the city council and administration put such a low value on a place that is an integral, historic and necessary part of our community, and has been ever since the founding of Iron Mountain. Let’s improve, not destroy, the final resting place for many of our residents.

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