Town ends cemetery work contract

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 5, 2004

GLOSTER &045; Though aldermen narrowly voted Tuesday to end the town’s contract for cemetery maintenance, Gloster Mayor Bill Adams said he hopes to convince board members to reconsider the decision.

&uot;I’m not saying they’re totally wrong, but there’s more to it than just saying ‘We’re going to save some money,’&uot; Adams said.

Gloster had contracted the maintenance of the town’s two cemeteries to Doris and Roy Brooks at a cost of $1,600 per month.

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Aldermen voted 2-1 Tuesday to assign the work to the town’s street department and use inmate labor to get the job done.

Board members Jimmy Brown and Jane Martin voted for the change; Eldon Hopf voted against; Rebecca Anderson abstained; and Bennis Forman was absent.

Adams said he hopes to get the board to re-think the issue at a special meeting on Tuesday.

&uot;I believe in privatizing a number of things because anybody that’s drawing wages is naturally going to take longer to do it, and our people just don’t have the time,&uot; Adams said.

There have been no complaints with the Brooks’ service, Adams said.

&uot;Some of them (board members) think we can save money by doing this, but you can’t. You’ll have to buy $20,000 worth of equipment, and it’ll last a year or two, and then you have to buy it again,&uot; he said.

Inmate labor is free, Adams admitted, but he noted the town will still have to transport and feed the prisoners.

&uot;You have to ride them in an official (town) vehicle, and that’s usually a police car. That puts one of our policemen riding to the prison in Woodville twice a day,&uot; Adams said.

Cemetery maintenance is privatized in Centreville and Woodville. In Centreville, the town pays $700 per month for the upkeep of one cemetery. The Town of Woodville pays $2,300 per month for maintenance of three cemeteries.