WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL)—Some Wichita Falls residents express concern regarding the condition of area cemeteries.
While inspecting the family mausoleum following the death of her brother, Ruth Ann Jackson found herself frustrated about the upkeep of the Rosemont Cemetery.
Jackson is the wife of City Councilor Steve Jackson.
“I saw unmowed grass, more upsetting were weeds around the headstones, I walked many of them [were] knee-high, grass ankle-deep,” Ruth Ann Jackson said.
Rosemont Cemetery along with three others including Riverside, Lakeview and Hillcrest, is owned by the City of Wichita Falls and maintained by the parks department.
Hillcrest is a former private cemetery now part of Rosemont.
Parks Administrator Terry Points said he is not happy with the conditions either, but this year has been a little difficult because of the amount of rain that has put them a little behind in maintenance, especially after the Fourth of July holiday.
“We take a lot of pride in our cemeteries and for them to look good,” Points said. “It takes a lot of machines, a lot of people.”
The city has five employees and three mowers to cover about 150 acres of the cemetery and almost 30,000 headstones to trim around and one mower is now out of service and being repaired.
“Out here in this cemetery lie the pioneers of Wichita Falls, they are the people who make us who we are, they are family, it should be pristine,” Jackson said.
“The way it looks right now, I’m appalled by it, my supervisors and my workers are appalled by it but we are doing our best with what we have to work with and we are catching up,” Points said.
Points wants residents to know he understands their frustration and the city is doing its best to keep the cemeteries in good condition.
In addition to mowing all four cemeteries, the employees may get pulled away to prepare a graveside for burial, so this too disrupts their schedule.