MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Rose Hill Cemetery in south Memphis sits very close to residents' homes. Barry Broome reached out to ABC24 looking for answers as to why, he said, only the front portion of the cemetery's grass and shrubbery has been cut.
"My father is buried in that cemetery," Broome said. “[He's] been there now 24 years."
Broome said his frustration is provoked by the property right behind his home that he said has been neglected. He said the neglect has led to overgrown trees and weeds that have prevented the Broome family from locating and visiting their loved one’s grave.
"My niece, they stay in Minnesota," Broome said. "They came and wanted to visit his grave sight, but they couldn’t because they couldn’t get back there to the cemetery. They [were] cutting at one time but they stopped cutting the back, but they keep the front cut."
Neighbor Natasha Halmon agreed with Broome. She said the impact of the cemetery’s issues has become more obvious.
“It’s unsanitary with the snakes and the rats and you have to be so cautious about your door being open," Halmon said. "Just the living conditions with the cemetery being in the back of us, it’s unfair."
The city confirmed to ABC24 that the owners of this cemetery have been in environmental court multiple times and are due in court again on Sept. 19. "The city is not under a court order to perform the grass cuts. We're cutting the grass as a service to the community while the court makes its determination. The City and County are exploring possible solutions outside of the court while the cases are pending," said a statement.
For now, as Broome, awaits any answers from a system he said continues to point the finger elsewhere. He and his neighbors are urging those in charge to implement some type of long-term maintenance plan.
“They should be able to come through but ain’t no way they’ll be able to make it the way the city is taking care of the cemetery, the city or the county," Broome said.