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City to pay for couple’s second headstone at Hillcrest Cemetery

Brookhaven will cover the cost of a headstone for a woman’s grave at Hillcrest Cemetery since the city-built walkway is keeping a husband and wife apart.

After a one-hour session behind closed doors to discuss the legalities of the payment as well as four other legal matters, a personnel issue and a city contract, the Board of Aldermen voted 5-0 to pay up to $600 for a headstone for a separate plot. Ward 3 Alderman Mary Wilson and Ward 4 Alderman Shirley Estes left the meeting after the executive session and before the vote.

City Attorney Joe Fernald recommended the payment to Brookhaven Monument on behalf of the Parker family and Ward 1 Alderman Randy Belcher made the motion to approve it.    

At a July board meeting, a representative of the Parker family approached the board, requesting a $600 refund for her aunt’s Hillcrest gravesite.

According to the family representative, her aunt purchased a plot in the cemetery many years prior, but when it came time for her funeral, the cemetery said she could not be buried in the originally mapped out plot next to her husband due to a problem with a walkway. The cemetery had created a walkway through the plot, restricting anyone’s burial in that specific area.

The representative expressed the difficulty the dilemma put on the Parker family. She said it was upsetting that her aunt would not rest next to her husband, but that it also posed a problem with the expense for two separate headstones.

Fernald recommended the city pay up to $600 to Brookhaven Monument for the headstone. Due to legal issues the city would not be paying the family directly, but instead the monument company, he said.

No other action was taken following the executive session.

In other board business:

• City building inspector David Fearn reminded the board the public hearing regarding 215 Railroad St. will be Dec. 19 at 5:30 p.m. in the city boardroom.

• The board approved Public Works Director Keith Lewis’ request to enclose a concrete area of one of the city’s shops in order to provide more storage space for new equipment. The board approved Jerry Rice’s bid of $6,325 for the project.

• The board approved City Clerk Mike Jinks’ request to pay employees holiday time for Dec. 23, Dec. 26 and Jan. 2.

• The board approved the second and final payment of $2,356.12 to Proshot Concrete Inc. for the work completed on the Chickasaw Street drainage improvements in front of Brookhaven Elementary.

• Belcher made a motion to pay the bi-monthly city employees before Christmas this year. Ward 2 Aldermen Terry Bates seconded the motion and the board approved. Jinks explained that by approving the motion all city employees would be paid a week and a half in advance on Dec. 22.