Citizen asks for cemeteries’ cleanup

Published 7:45 pm Friday, November 5, 2010

A citizen has asked the Bainbridge City Council to clean up two cemeteries where military veterans are buried.

Mike Hollaway, who said he was addressing the City Council as an individual on Tuesday evening, said there are about 2,000 veterans buried in the cemeteries of Decatur County. As Veterans Day approaches on Nov. 11, the local Veterans of Foreign Wars posts place small American flags on the graves of veterans, Hollaway said.

Hollaway said he had issues with the upkeep of Oak City Cemetery and Pineview Cemetery. Oak City Cemetery is located off Cemetery Street in north-central Bainbridge, while Pineview Cemetery is located off East College Street near the old Bainbridge High School.

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Mayor Edward Reynolds responded by explaining that while the city government is responsible for maintaining the rights-of-way and common areas in Oak City Cemetery, the individual grave sites are owned by private persons. However, Mayor Reynolds said city workers would attempt to make things look nicer as much as possible.

On the other hand, Reynolds said upkeep of Pineview Cemetery is much more complicated. Pineview, which has some graves dating back to the 19th century, was started by a group of families and is thus privately owned, Reynolds said. The City of Bainbridge does not hold the deed to the cemetery and there are some legal issues involved that currently prevent city employees from working in it.

However, volunteers with Keep Decatur County Beautiful and other organizations have done clean-up of the cemetery in the past and state inmate crews have been used to mow the grass in the cemetery.

In other business, the council unanimously approved a resolution declaring Nov. 16 as Retired Educator Day in Bainbridge.

The State of Georgia is recognizing retired educators on Nov. 7. The council also unanimously approved authorization of a no-cost letter of credit with First Port City Bank. The letter of credit is being used to secure the city government’s access to Georgia Power utility poles for maintenance of the city’s fiber optic network, City Manager Chris Hobby said.