MINOT — Buster Downing, a member of the town’s Cemetery Committee, brought two proposals to the attention of Minot selectmen at Monday night’s meeting.

The first involves creating a “Memory Park” at the Center Hill Cemetery, along Center Minot Hill Road. Downing said according to the town’s cemetery ordinance, people cannot plant bushes, shrubbery or trees, or place potted plants around the grave sites.

“It takes time to move those things, or something that could be broken, or run over by a piece of equipment,” Downing said. “The town is very fortunate in as much as the highway department mows and trims around the plots.

He added, “So we felt that it was only appropriate to have a place where that could be done if somebody wanted to.”

Downing said this would not have been a priority if money were unavailable, “but we picked up enough money now that we should be able to do it, and I think with some outside help, maybe even a little funding from the town, I think we can do a good job with it.”

In Downing’s second proposal, he felt money will be needed to pick up the stone markers and monuments that have toppled over, been knocked over or just fallen down. Downing said this was done in 2002, during the town’s bicentennial.

“Some of those stones are in really bad shape,” he said, adding that some of the town’s earliest settlers are buried there.

Residents have told Downing it is “very disheartening and disloyal to the these people that we aren’t taking care of them.”

In 2008, Minot voters agreed to take over ownership and maintenance of West Minot’s Riverside Cemetery and the Center Hill Cemetery, and to spend $50,000 to buy a 17-acre lot to expand Center Hill.

“We bought that land, had it cleared, we had it developed and surveyed,” Downing said. “Well, we did not pay much attention to what’s happened in the last two years.”

Selectmen told Downing the two proposals will likely require a public hearing and a warrant article.

“Everything comes at a cost,” he said.

filed under: