Committee meets to discuss fixing up South Bend's oldest cemetery

South Bend, Ind. South Bend's Parks Department wants more money to help restore the city's oldest cemetery.

Over the years, several tombstones have toppled over and dying trees threaten those that haven't.

On Wednesday night, a committee made up of city leaders and residents met to talk about their plans to repair the historic resting place.

If the park department's request for more funding is approved, it would help cover the cost of several maintenance issues.

But, the problem is, there's no revenue coming into the trust fund established for the city cemetery.

In order to repair all the tombstones and improve the grounds, the cemetery could eventually expand.

There is money set aside this year that will be used to repair and level hundreds of tombstones.

“The city cemetery is currently landlocked for lack of better words,” explained Phil St Clair, Director of South Bend Parks and Recreation. “And it would be nice if we had additional land where we could start getting back into burials. It's really the only logical piece for long term sustainable funding.”

Connie Blair lives near the cemetery.

“I would like it to get bigger and have new internments going on,” she said. “I think it should and is a viable part of our neighborhood.”

It's unclear exactly how much that will cost.

But, the committee is also brainstorming about fundraisers that would help generate public and private dollars for repairs.

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