Mt. Pleasant says lack of water is
reason cemetery looks unkempt
By Rhett Wilkinson
MT. PLEASANT—A resident complained about deteriorating conditions at the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery—broken headstones, dead grass and encroaching weeds—at a council meeting Sept. 22.
In a letter addressed to the mayor and city council, resident Pam Stoker outlined her five concerns about the cemetery.
The first is that “the grasses are mostly dead”; the second is that “the trees really need water immediately”; the third is that “the cemetery is now a breeding place for thistle”; the fourth is that at least 31 headstones “have been damaged and are in pieces, just lying against their original foundations” and “there are many that their basis have been compromised and are in danger of falling off”; and the fifth is that “the rock wall that surrounds the cemetery … is also experiencing extreme deterioration.”
Stoker told the Sanpete Messenger that Colter Allen, Mt. Pleasant public works superintendent, said in the council meeting that the cemetery has not been sprayed this year.
“Now, we have thistles,” Stoker said in the meeting. “It’s sad when a headstone is adorned with thistles.”
A thistle is a “noxious weed” that is “almost impossible to control,” Stoker said.
Stoker wondered if water in a $250,000 well should be used for a cemetery. She didn’t get an answer in the council meeting.
Stoker also said in the meeting that she does not understand why water dug 25 feet underground is not being used for the cemetery.
The four “old plots” at the cemetery aren’t getting watered, Stoker told the Messenger.
“Pretty sad,” she said.
Stoker brought up the perpetual care fund for the cemetery.
“If there’s money there, why have we let it go for three years?” Stoker said. “I don’t understand why they aren’t taking care of it.”
Stoker expressed support for Jim Christensen, who used to be a cemetery worker. No headstones were broken while Christensen worked on the cemetery, Stoker said.
“He wouldn’t have had control over getting it sprayed, but he would have maintained the cemetery better, yes, he would have,” Stoker said.
Multiple city council members, including Rondy Black and Justin Atkinson, shared sentiments that the cemetery is in bad shape. Atkinson said, “I appreciate Pam.” He has heard “several” other people complain about the condition of the cemetery. Atkinson said that “the water situation” is a “big part” of that. The city has struggled to maintain enough water.
The day after the city council meeting, Stoker called the city to see who is over public works. The city claimed to not know.
“If we wait another two weeks even and one month and then the water’s off, who is going to water the trees?” Stoker asked on Wednesday, Sept. 23.
Moroni City’s cemetery is “so beautiful”—and it has just two city workers, Stoker said. She complimented Bert Kendall, public works official for Moroni.
“He does an excellent job,” Stoker said.
Since the meeting, Stoker contacted Moroni personnel who sprays for the city to get a bid.
“I’m on it,” Stoker said.
In other meeting action, Mayor Michael Olsen said “discussion/action” items for the power and public works departments would be on the city council agendas. That’s long-term, he told the newspaper.
Also, revenue that would be generated from a recreation, arts and parks tax, if it passes in November, would be an estimated $36,000 per year. The RAP tax would not be levied on groceries. A public open house will be held at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 7 at city hall, at 115 W. Main in Mt. Pleasant, Olsen said.