Jefferson County Cemetery Board gets to work to clean up overgrown, abandoned cemeteries

Published: Oct. 13, 2022 at 10:13 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The work to clean up abandoned and neglected cemeteries in Jefferson County is finally about to start years after the board to address the problem was created.

It’s taken five years to get to this point. That’s when the Jefferson County Cemetery Board was formed after a series of our reports on issues with overgrown cemeteries.

We asked about the hold up. We’re told there’s been back and forth over what the board can and can’t do the past few years.

Thursday, the cemetery board voted on a contractor to clean up Shadowlawn Cemetery in Birmingham and Pine Hill Cemetery in the McCalla-Bessmer area. Both are overgrown and in need of upkeep.

Family with loved ones buried at these cemeteries say these hallowed grounds should be treated with dignity and respect. Board Chairman Korey Hameen is hoping to do just that.

“I’d say it’s been a long time coming. I mean we had a pretty slow start to begin with, but we’ve gained momentum over the time that has passed and we’ve kind of come together as a board so we’re going to go ahead and move forward and I’m just excited to know that this work will actually begin within the next 30 days,” Hameen said.

Hameen tells us the board has $175,000 they can spend to clean up cemeteries. Board members voted to use about $7,200 on Shadowlawn and Pine Hill. The board could tackle other cemeteries in the near future.

It’s important to note the board only deals with abandoned or closed cemeteries.

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