Oak City Cemetery to undergo cleanup

Published 7:53 pm Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Bainbridge City Council has shown it is serious about cleaning up a historic cemetery, after citizens and city officials alike agreed its grounds were in poor shape.

At their Tuesday meeting, the Bainbridge City Council unanimously voted to pay Wendell Hall, doing business as “Git R Done” Lawn Maintenance of Bainbridge, to extensively clean up the cemetery’s grounds and perform ongoing monthly maintenance.

The council agreed to pay Git R Done $2,500 per month, or $27,000 annually, to perform monthly maintenance at Oak City Cemetery, which is 16.5 acres in size. The regular maintenance includes mowing of grass twice a month, weed trimming around all lots, removal of leaves, trimmings and trash piles and twice-yearly trimming of hedges.

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After brief discussion, the council also voted to follow Hobby’s suggestion to pay Git R Done $15,000 for a one-time, initial cleanup of the cemetery.

Citizen Clayton Penhallegon pointed out that Oak City Cemetery was garnering attention recently due to two dramatic historic tours presented there in 2012.

Hobby had previously said he agreed with some cemetery visitors’ complaints that the natural underbrush, including dead plant material, marred the beauty of the cemetery. According to Hobby, the city’s park workers had attempted to control the underbrush by applying chemical treatments, which were supposed to work over a period of time.

The one-time cleanup will take care a lot of those issues, Hobby said, and will include a variety of tasks such as trimming and removal of undesirable and overgrown vines, trees and hedges, removal of trash and natural waste and treatment and removal of ant beds.

Meanwhile, the Decatur-Seminole Service Center, which provides work experience and support services to developmentally-disabled persons, will continue their maintenance of Jonas Lobe and West Bainbridge cemeteries, and begin maintaining Pineview Cemetery.

The city recently acquired Pineview Cemetery off College Street through a condemnation process, with the goal of having more legal right-of-way to perform needed improvements and upkeep there.