South Bend, Ind. The South Bend Common Council's plan to breathe new life into the city's oldest cemetery kicked off Wednesday afternoon.
The community relations committee held a meeting to discuss how the council will move forward with developing a five-year plan to fix up the cemetery.
Several famous residents like Vice President Schuyler Colfax are buried at the site, but it's fallen into disrepair over the years.
So, the city plans to work with residents to restore the cemetery in a way that honors the city's history. And, they'll start by outlining immediate goals.
“We can have a working kind of environment where we can put together our plan for the months of August through December of 2013,” says Common Council Vice President Oliver Davis “That's our short term plan.”
About a dozen residents attended the meeting Wednesday and offered ideas on how to raise money for the project. One of the suggestions is to expand the cemetery to allow new burials, which would help generate revenue for the city. The project would involve tearing down several vacant or abandoned homes that surround the property.
"With so many people doing cremation, there's a possibility there could even be room for a mausoleum where it could make money for itself in the city so it wouldn't be such a hardship on the city," said John C. Bryant, who has family buried at the cemetery.
The committee's next meeting will be at the O'Brien Fitness Center on August 21. Residents are invited to come and share their ideas on how to restore the cemetery.