Jemison hopes to establish guidelines for cemeteryBy Emily Etheredge Published 5:22pm Friday, March 8, 2013
The city of Jemison hopes to move forward in establishing guidelines for the Pine Hill Cemetery after learning in November 2012 the city owns the property.
Mayor Eddie Reed said plans will be discussed by the Jemison City Council at a future work session to come up with prices for the remaining burial plots in the cemetery.
“We are going to have to come up with a decision soon on the prices,” Reed said. “The weather is getting warmer and the maintenance department is going to have to maintain unwanted growth around the cemetery by making sure the area is presentable.”
Reed said for many years the city was unaware it owned the cemetery after no one was able to locate the original title.
In November 2012, the Chilton County Circuit Court declared the Pine Hill Cemetery was property of the city and the mayor and council must decide pricing for burial plots left at the cemetery.
Reed said knowledge that the city now owns the cemetery is largely due to a previous mayor of the city who maintained the cemetery even though the state does not allow municipalities to work on private property.
Since the former mayor kept up the grounds and maintained the property for many years with no deeds to the property, the circuit court granted the city of Jemison full ownership due to a history of maintaining the property.
Reed said confusion as to who owned the property has always been a source of question and with no deed, the community would often pick plots for burial from different parts of the county.
“Without a deed and proper ownership anyone could be buried on the property,” Reed said. “It was history without a record.”
Reed said knowledge about how the cemetery was first started or who originally maintained it is unknown and the former mayor more than likely kept up with the grounds due to no one else keeping them up.
Although it is currently unknown how many graves are in the cemetery or how many plots are left, the city will now be responsible for selling whatever plots remain.