Community shows concerns due to cemetery’s conditions

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WEST TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Kayleen and Timothy Harbaugh visited the Bethesda Cemetery Sunday to put decorations on their sister’s grave in celebration of Easter. That plan changed after they say decorations previously put on the grave were thrown away.

“My sister and my grandpa is buried out here and I would just like when I put things on their grave that is stays on there instead of being taken off, this place looks absolutely disgusting,” Kayleen Harbaugh said.

While some families are upset, Bill McClain, president of the Bethesda Cemetery says the decorations were removed for scheduled cleaning.

“Every year we have clean up days to get rid of the fall and Christmas flowers from the year before and get ready for Easter and spring,” McClain said.

Last year McClain says there were issues notifying families of the clean up due to the signs on the property being stolen but he says that’s not the case this year.

“This year, I went and had new signs made that specifically set the dates for spring cleaning 3/25 to 4/18, telling everybody get everything off by the 25th, don’t put anything back until the 19th, to allow us to do the clean up,” McClain said.  

McClain also says in addition to having to focus on removing items from the fall and winter seasons, they’ve also encountered problems with illegal dumping that have made cleaning up the area more difficult.

McClain said families can expect all trash at the cemetery to be cleaned some time within the next week.

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