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SPRING HOPE — The town Board of Commissioners buried Envirolink employees over a collapsed grave in a town cemetery during Monday evening’s meeting.
Spring Hope Mayor Buddy Gwaltney tossed the two employees out of the meeting after a shellacking by the entire board. Gwaltney told the two employees to drive over to Meeks Cemetery so they could see the shoddy grass cutting their company has been doing. Gwaltney said if they left right then, they would make it before sundown.
Commissioner Brent Cone said the Envirolink workers could see in the dark how terrible the cemetery looks.
Matthew Littell and another new employee who wasn’t identified filed out of the room with their heads down. Cone had just told the new employee that he thinks Envirolink hires new people just to stand in front of the board and apologize.
Envirolink is a private company contracted with Spring Hope to perform the town’s public works services. The board is perpetually upset with the company.
Commissioner Drew Griffin said he’s complained about Envirolink for years.
Apparently neglected by Envirolink grass cutting crews, a grave belonging to General Williams collapsed, exposing his remains. In this instance, General is a name, not a rank.
The man died in 1973. His grave style, where the tomb is buried with its top flush with the ground, has since been outlawed.
Town Clerk Michele Collins said Williams has no living relatives.
Clint Hedgepeth, who contracts with the city to dig and maintain graves, said sometimes the grass in the cemetery is knee high. He said he always has to make excuses to families for the cemetery’s unkempt appearance.
Commissioner Prudence Wilkins, who has family buried in the cemetery, said its appearance is deplorable. She said a family member’s car got stuck during a recent funeral.
Cone said he doesn’t have family in the cemetery, but as a Spring Hope resident, he is disgusted by the way Envirolink treats the graveyard.
Hedgepeth said the town should demand a grass cutting schedule from Environlink. He also recommended the board establish a cemetery committee and create an up-to-date map of the graveyard.