CULLMAN, Ala. (WIAT) –According to the Alabama Department of Insurance, in 2006 the cemetery and several others under former owner Mike Graham and Associates were put into receivership by the state.
Impacted family members say there has reportedly been at least one other ownership transition since then.
Federal Bankruptcy court documents show that the Alabama Department Of Insurance suspended the Certificate of Authority for DeArbor, LLC. to sell preneed contracts for cemetery or funeral merchandise at Cullman Memory Gardens in September of 2013.
The most recent change of ownership reportedly transferred control to Jim Enneper from Wisconsin, according to concerned stakeholders and impacted families who we spoke with.
Paula Harris tells us her grandmother was recently entombed in the mausoleum and she fears the worst about the liquid leaking from near the sight of her casket. Harris doesn’t think the newest owner is to blame, but says she is brokenhearted about the situation and feels she doesn’t have many options.
WIAT 42 News contacted the new manager, Jim Enneper, through the phone number posted on a building on site, but were told that he could not comment without approval and that the attorney who could give approval was unavailable. A nearby business owner with family buried in the cemetery has taken up the cause of keeping the grass cut even though it’s costing him several hundred dollars a month.
“Most of my relatives are there,” said Ron Foust, owner of Stone Bridge Farms. “I’m in it for the long haul. I don’t want to do it forever. You know we’re going to have to have some form of compensation eventually if we keep doing it. It like I said it’s very expensive, very time consuming, but for right now, for the remainder of this year I’ve committed to at least do it this year and to keep the grounds looking good.”
We were unable to speak with representatives of the Cullman County Health Department or the Alabama Department of Insurance directly on Monday because both were closed for a state holiday.
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