MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - A lot of people have questions and are frustrated with the way a cemetery near Arab is being maintained and run, so a community meeting is set for this week to address those issues and talk about the future.
Alan Silvey has several family members buried in Brookwood Cemetery near Arab and he has concerns about it. "It took us six months to get the dirt for my grandmother's tomb off of my dad's funeral spot, and then it took us another while, I don't remember exactly how long, to get it sodded and then it was extremely deep and much higher than the rest of the ground. So we had to come remove it ourselves," Silvey said.
Several other people mirror similar issues and say the cemetery isn't maintained the way it should be, especially over the last several weeks. A Facebook group called 'Save Brookwood Cemetery!' has multiple posts and pictures from concerned residents, wanting something to be done.
The manager of the cemetery tells WHNT News 19 the current owners, who are out-of-state, own another Marshall County cemetery. We understand it's funded separately and used more frequently, so there is more funding for it. The manager says Brookwood has changed hands several times while decreasing in funding.
The manager tells us maintenance equipment was stolen recently, so Brookwood wasn't being maintained during the insurance process. He says equipment to transport the maintenance gear across the county was stolen as well, so the cemetery couldn't get mowed during that time. We understand maintenance can't be contracted out because of funding, and it can't be done by the community because of insurance issues.
The cemetery has been mowed since that insurance process was completed.
The manager called a community meeting this week to discuss upkeep, funding and the future.
Arab Mayor Bob Joslin says the meeting will be held at city hall. "Anyone can come who has an interest in the Brookwood Cemetery. The city doesn't have any involvement in the cemetery at all because it's located physically outside the city limits and it's a private cemetery," Mayor Joslin says.
The mayor says the meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 16 in the city courtroom at city hall.
Concerned residents say they just want answers, and want what they've paid for. "These are our loved ones," Silvey says, "Our family members, and we trust that somebody is going to take care of them for us."
The manager says any questions about the upkeep, care, and maintenance of the cemetery will be addressed, as well as the processes leading up to its current status. Residents are welcome to ask questions regarding previously purchased aspects of the cemetery as well.
Anyone who has an interest in Brookwood is welcome to attend.