LEEDS, Ala. (WIAT) — A Leeds cemetery is once again causing controversy over the way the city maintains it. Cedar Grove Cemetery has been under fire since March, when the city changed the rules for what can and cannot be placed on tombstones and markers. Shortly after announcing those guidelines, the city removed large amounts of decorative items, placed there by families.
“They even took the shepherds’ hooks down. Mama and Daddy both had a cement angel sitting on their tombstones. They took an angel, left an angel. It was all of that stuff down there. And Richard had one little wooden cross with a rose on it. I’ve never seen it no more,” said Judy Powell, whose husband, Richard, and several other family members are buried at Cedar Grove.
On Wednesday, CBS 42 News got messages from other people who have family members laid to rest at Cedar Grove. They told us they’ve had difficulty getting the city to mow the grass and keep up the headstones, complaining of grass up to knee height.
“It’s heart wrenching every time you come here. Every time you come here, because it is something different every time,” said Sandy Peoples. Her son was buried at Cedar Grove last year. She says she used to come and use a lawn mower and weed eater herself, to try to clean up the area around the grave. Then she says, the city told her she couldn’t.
“The thing is, there is people that cares. I am one of those people. I care what my son’s grave looks like. That’s his resting place,” she said.
Peoples called the city, and on Wednesday afternoon, we met her there, as crews came to clean up the grass. Peoples says she’s not confident things will change.
“I don’t know what my next step is,” she said. “I mean, the city needs to do, the mayor needs to do something.”
We reached out to Leeds City Hall and Mayor David Miller, but have not yet heard back.