Birmingham council members consider forming task force to clean-up cemeteries
A cemetery you can't see is leading Birmingham city leaders to take a closer look at a growing problem. One council member wants the city to form a task force to clear out the hallowed grounds.
An ABC 33/40 crew unknowingly drove past the cemetery at least four times while we were working on their story. It's very likely you no one knows about it unless you they know someone buried there.
Vera Brown has lived near Gate City her whole life. Many of her relatives are resting in the trees.
"It's kind of run down and hadn't been taken care of," said Brown.
She's talking about the cemetery hidden in the woods.
"I'm saddened by it. But, it has just overgrown from a lack of attention. We've made numerous calls around to everyone, but have not had any results," added Brown.
The Birmingham City Council is listening.
"The questions are who's responsible and how do you make whoever is responsible take care of it," stated Councilwoman Kim Rafferty.
Councilwoman Rafferty represents the area where the cemetery is located.
"It's so overgrown I can't really get in to look at the dates on the headstones," added Councilwoman Rafferty.
She believes it has gone untouched for at least three decades. The city used to have a committee in place to help maintain un-kept cemeteries.
"I think that is something we need to bring back. We have citizens across that care about cemeteries across the area. We need to make sure they are well-kept," said Councilman Jay Roberson.
Council members believe the cemetery belongs to Walter Minerals, Incorporated. Clerks in the Jefferson County Tax Assessors Office have sent out tax notices. Those notices have gone unanswered.