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Man Troubled with Weslaco Cemetery Ground Maintenance

3 years 9 months 2 weeks ago Tuesday, February 07 2017 Feb 7, 2017 February 07, 2017 5:21 PM February 07, 2017 in News

WESLACO – A Rio Grande Valley man said trash, high grass and toppled over tombstones is what greets him when he visits his loved ones’ final resting place.

The Weslaco City Cemetery looks unrecognizable with the debris and broken headstones.

“I don’t know why the maintenance is not kept up,” Juan Aguirre said.

He said it’s no secret the care for the Weslaco cemetery isn’t what it used to be. He said times have changed.

“It’s what I tell you, the tradition of the people has changed. They don’t go to their cemetery as much as they used to,” Aguirre said.

On the west side of the cemetery there is an area that is newer and more maintained.

“All in all I think it’s a little run down, especially on the old side it’s a little run down” Aguirre said.

The man said it differs from where some of his family members rest.

“I take the weeds off and I put new flowers and maybe cover up the ant holes. There’s a lot of ant holes. I don’t know if rats go and dig the holes but that causes the stone to kinda go off balance,” he said.

On Tuesday there were city employees tending to some of the cemetery.

“The tombs themselves are all… People go in there and break them, and nobody comes in there to fix them because like I say they don’t come and visit, not like they should,” Aguirre said.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS spoke to city officials about what responsibility falls onto the city and the individual’s families when it comes to maintenance.

“It’s still a lot to the individual to the family to maintain it to keep it looking good,” Aguirre said.

Weslaco City Manager Mike Perez said if employees are out on the cemetery grounds and see tombstones toppled over they will push them back up. He added the cemetery is very old and plots were placed very close together, making it harder to maintain the area.

Perez said the city hasn’t stopped burying people on the west side of the cemetery, but they have stopped allowing people to purchase plots on that side.

Aguirre said he’ll continue to do what he can to keep his family’s final resting place clean.

Perez said if we wanted more answers about maintenance to contact parks and recreation director David Arce.

We did contact him and learned he was out of town. We sent him some questions via email. He has yet to respond. 

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