BATTLE GROUND, Ind. (WLFI) - Profanities, accusations against the township trustee, and a demand for answers were part of the discussion about the Battle Ground Cemetery Wednesday night at the Tippecanoe Township board meeting.
Grass and weeds in the cemetery have been left untouched for most of the summer.
"You lied to me! You lied to me!" exclaimed one Battle Ground resident.
"Where are your estimates to the board?" asked another.
The meeting Wednesday did not start off so well for Trustee Mark Nesbitt. About 20 residents showed up to explain how disappointed they are that the township let the cemetery look as if it was abandoned throughout the year.
"It hits hard because who would want to be buried there if it, you know, wasn't being maintained?" said Lisa Andrews.
Nesbitt said he hired a subcontractor to maintain the cemetery earlier this year. He said he wanted to abide by state and federal labor laws.
"Having people go in there that are not employees, nor are they independent contractors, we become liable if anything were to happen to them," said Nesbitt.
Nesbitt said that subcontractor did not show up as contracted and virtually abandoned the cemetery.
In previous years, a cemetery association took care of the grounds. However, it was turned over to the Tippecanoe Township after there weren't enough members of the association to take care of it.
Nesbitt said after a year in the works, the township's attorney is within a month of getting the funds transferred from the cemetery association to the township. But residents argue that Nesbitt is dragging his feet and it's taking too long. Nesbitt explained part of the reason for the delay is that the attorney has been ill.
Either way, the board took action Wednesday.
"The board passed a resolution to make sure I get in done in 60 days. I think that's going to happen," said Nesbitt.
After the resolution and an hour of heated discussion, Andrews said she feel like some progress was made.
"If we have the community come maybe every month, and we work on this and hold people reliable and have dates of when things are supposed to be done. I think we'll get there," said Andrews.
Nesbitt said the subcontractor he hired earlier this year is no longer involved with the cemetery. He has hired another company to come in on a trial basis and finish out this year.
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