Hearing set on cemetery

Hearing set on cemetery

first_imgIn addition to allowing the cleanup, the resolution would be a step toward making the cemetery a pioneer park. Under such a designation, city government would conduct restoration work on the cemetery and then maintain it in that state. If the abandonment resolution is approved, the city could start the cemetery cleanup as early as September. The cemetery is a legacy from the early settlement known as Palmenthal, founded in the 1880s by German and Swiss immigrants from Nebraska and Illinois. City officials said a search of records indicates that the Jonas family, one of the pioneer families in Palmenthal, donated 20 acres to a local church for a cemetery. City government has acquired 14 acres adjacent to the cemetery to establish a historical park there. The community’s first school – a one-room schoolhouse built in the 1880s and now in McAdam Park – might be moved to the proposed historical park, where there also could be exhibits detailing the railroad’s impact on Palmdale’s development. Palmdale officials are in discussions with local historian Glen Settle about possibly relocating three of the city’s early buildings from Rosamond to the historical park site. The buildings are a railroad station and homes that belong to the Ritter and Munz families, early settlers of the community. City officials are trying to determine the cost of relocating and restoring the buildings, which had been moved to Rosamond as part of a ghost town tourist attraction that operated from the 1950s to the 1980s. The cemetery could complement the park, city officials said. Only 21/2 acres of the original cemetery are fenced and appear to have been used for burials, but there is a possibility a search might disclose burials outside the fenced area, city officials said. Records indicate there may have been as many as 203 burials, although during one examination, there appeared to be only 187 marked graves within the fenced area. Far fewer than 187 markers are still there. The last burial of record was Jan. 17, 2001, city officials said. The cemetery no longer accepts burials because of the possibility of disturbing unmarked graves. [email protected] (661) 267-5743 IF YOU GO The public hearing on the cemetery will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Palmdale City Hall, 38300 Sierra Highway, Suite B.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREFrumpy Middle-aged Mom: My realistic 2020 New Year’s resolutions. Some involve doughnuts.“I think it’s a great opportunity for the community,” Ledford said. “It’s an opportunity for our residents to get into the historical aspects of the community.” Ledford said he believes there could be grave sites outside the cemetery, just east of the site. At some point, he said, a survey should be done to look for unmarked graves. But Councilman Steve Knight said city government should have limited involvement with the cemetery because of the potential cost to taxpayers. In addition to the initial cleanup, there would be ongoing maintenance costs estimated at $30,000 annually. “I think there’s a role for the city for having a dignified cemetery, but I don’t want this to turn into a huge money pit we can’t get out of,” Knight said. The resolution would make three findings: that the site is not an endowment-care cemetery, that it has not had more than 10 burials within the past five years, and that it presents a threat or danger to the public’s health, safety, comfort or welfare. PALMDALE – A public hearing will be held Wednesday, when the City Council will decide whether the city should step in and clean up the 120-year-old Palmdale Cemetery. The council will vote on a resolution declaring the abandonment of the cemetery at Avenue S and 20th Street East as a place for future burials. The move sets into motion a process allowing city government to begin the cleanup and to secure the cemetery at a cost estimated at $220,000. The cemetery, established by the city’s first settlers in the 1880s, has fallen on hard times in recent years. It has been vandalized frequently and is marred by trash and debris, despite efforts by volunteers to keep it clean. Council members want the site cleaned up, but there is debate on how deeply involved city government should be in the project. Mayor Jim Ledford favors major involvement, making the cemetery part of a historical park planned on an adjoining site. last_img

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