City may take charge of cemetery

Published 4:55 pm Friday, May 8, 2009

The City of Bainbridge may assume responsibility for the upkeep of a historic cemetery that has fallen in disrepair in recent years.

Last fall, a group of volunteers used a Saturday morning to clean up Pineview Cemetery, a predominantly black cemetery located off College Street near Bainbridge High School. Many of the graves are marked with dates ranging back to the early 1900s and late 1800s.

According to Keep Decatur County Beautiful, the cemetery may be home to at least one grave that belongs to a “Buffalo Soldier,” the nickname for African-American soldiers who fought in the U.S. Army’s 10th Calvary Regiment during the Indian Wars of the second half of the 1800s.

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The volunteers and inmate clean-up crews led by Bainbridge Public Safety have helped remove litter, tree limbs and overgrown grass from the cemetery, but according to city officials, more work can be done.

After receiving a letter from a concerned citizen, the Bainbridge City Council instructed City Manager Chris Hobby to begin the legal research necessary to claim ownership of the cemetery, which doesn’t have a clear owner. Hobby said it would be necessary to condemn the property and establish a new title for it.

“I think the question would be, what is the public interest?” Hobby explained to the council. “There are public health and sanitary issues and visual issues which could be compelling reasons a public entity would take it over.”

Other Business

In other business, the council:

Held a public hearing on the city’s plans to apply for federal government money available under the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program. Hobby said Bainbridge and Decatur County would have to submit a joint application but could be eligible to receive about $102,000 under the grant. The money could be used for a broad range of crime prevention and control activities. No action was taken Tuesday, and no public comments were made.

Approved, by unanimous vote, the nomination of Roslyn Palmer as second vice-president for the Georgia Municipal Association’s officers for District 10, which includes cities in Southwest Georgia.

Bids and Bills

Bids: $18,923.82 from Oxford Construction Company of Albany, Ga., for 319.12 tons of asphalt for Alice Street between West and Scott streets; and $3,535 from Irwin and Mahaffey Construction Company of Watkinsville, Ga., for pool supplies; $5,950 from American Safety and Fire House of Atlanta for 10 sections of firefighting hose.

Bills: $5,268.92 from Gulf Atlantic Culvert of Tallahassee, Fla., for ditch drainage improvements in the Turtle Pond neighborhood; $12,533.40 from Adapco of Sanford, Fla., for mosquito control chemicals; $9,800 from Clarke Mosquito Control Products of Roselle, Ill., for mosquito fogger; $5,142.75 from DSI Pumps of Albany, Ga., for panel box and parts for a pump at the holding pond at Wheat Avenue and College Street (to be reimbursed by the Board of Education); $6,562 from Delta Municipal of Lawrenceville, Ga., for a one-year supply of ball valves with lock wings; $3,627.70 from Georgia Municipal Association of Atlanta, Ga., for reimbursement of the workers’ compensation self-insurance fund.

Video links:

City Manager Discusses Recreational Projects

City Engineer Reviews Water & Sewage Projects