ARAB, Ala. (WHNT)- A Marshall County cemetery is not up to standards. That's the claim of a viewer who contacted WHNT News 19 asking us to Take Action.
The cemetery in question is the Brookwood Cemetery just outside of Arab.
"The flag on the veteran's part of the cemetery has been left in a disrespectful state. It has been weathered with tears and knotted up for over a year now," the viewer told us in the email. The person also complained about the fact the lights and fans inside the mausoleum don't work.
The cemetery has had problems in the past. Almost ten years ago the owner of the cemetery passed away, leaving no one to maintain the property and more importantly no one to honor dozens and dozens of pre-need policies.
"Pre-need they call it," said Bob Stebbins. "A pre need investment. And it included a coffin. The excavation. The vault and the whole nine yards."
Stebbins is one of those who was left holding the bag after the cemetery owner died. He started a campaign to try and get the state to honor the pre-need policies, but to no avail.
"I got calls from elderly widows who were crying and saying they were making payments to try and pay for it ahead of time. And they lost that money and they didn't know what to do. They were going to have to start over."
Several years ago the state did find a buyer for the property. The owners of Marshall Memory Gardens in Albertville agreed to buy the property and maintain it. However, the stipulation for purchase was that the new owners would not have to honor the pre-need policies sold buy the original owner.
WHNT News 19 spoke to the manager of Marshall Memory Gardens by phone. He says the tattered flag will be replaced right away. As for the mausoleum, he says the lights and fans don't work on purpose. He says people were going inside, turning them on and not turning them off when they left. He says it had led to a large power bill.
WHNT News 19 will be checking back to make sure the American flag is replaced.