Boone County Health Department files abatement order against Whitestown cemetery

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WHITESTOWN – Lincoln Memory Gardens will need to make some repairs in their Mausoleum after receiving an abatement order from the local health department.

People have been complaining about the cemetery for years. In February, multiple people called CBS4 saying the cemetery grounds were in disrepair. At that point, people had pointed out displaced headstones, grave markers that were cracked in half, tire tracks through resting areas and flooding across the back half of the property. Management promised to make improvements.

Outside, there has been some progress. Stonemor, which owns Lincoln Memory Gardens, sent CBS4 before and after photos showing some of the work they have completed. The company confirmed it has a new general manager on site and three maintenance workers instead of one.

CBS4 drove through the cemetery and noticed a couple areas that still need some attention. Near the entrance, bricks are crumbling. Handrails are still missing near the Masonic area.

“I am just thoroughly frustrated,” Phyllis Honey said.

Honey saw our investigative report and followed up with a phone call. She was grateful that other people had similar concerns as her.

“It’s like nothing ever gets fixed,” she told CBS4. “No one cares.”

Honey has been pushing for change for quite some time. She successfully pushed for a cherry tree near her aunt’s headstone. Now, she is focused on the conditions inside the Mausoleum. It’s her father’s final resting place.

“The carpet in there is torn, it is stained and it smells in there,” she said. “There are bugs. There are worms.”

Honey said people’s name plates and burial dates have fallen off, as well.

Honey was the person who invited the Boone County Health Department out to inspect the property. Once the environmental division saw the conditions, they filed an abatement order requiring the following:

Par 702 Every foundation, roof, and exterior wall, door shall be reasonably weather-tight, water-tight and damp-free, and shall be kept in sound condition and good repair. The indoor ceiling tiles are saturated, missing or damaged. Ceiling tile should be repaired or replaced. Carpet is deteriorating and damp. Find water source and replace any damaged carpet.

Par 402 Flush water closet shall be connected to a water system that at all times provides adequate amount of running water under pressure to cause the water closet to be operated properly and shall be properly connected to a sewer system. Toilet must be secured to the floor and must be in working condition.

Bathrooms in the facility must have proper sanitizing and must be kept clean when open to the public.

Cemetery staff wouldn’t go on camera but told CBS4 they are getting quotes to replace the carpet. They didn’t know when the work would get done.

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