August 11, 2014 at 3:40 AM
The Lansdale Cemetery Board is working to enforce a rule that, when the sun sets, there is no one lurking in the dark.
The board is discussing the possibility of a curfew after dusk for the cemetery, which would bring it in line with other Lansdale-Borough-owned amenities in the parks system.
“We thought there should be a curfew, and to have the cemetery regulated by curfew and how to handle that,” Councilwoman Mary Fuller reported during the borough Parks and Recreation Committee last week. “The same regulations that govern use of the parks may also govern the cemetery.”
Fuller, who sits on the cemetery board and also chairs the parks and recreation committee, said the curfew would be in line with borough park curfews.
“Some action will be required in the next 60 days,” she said. “It may be closed dusk to dawn. Some are even closed at 4 p.m.”
She said the real purpose of the curfew is to “give law enforcement a bit of teeth.” Parks and Recreation Director Carl Saldutti told the committee that the purpose is also to protect the asset of the cemetery.
“We are looking at it at the board level, but, again, if there is input, we should hear about it,” he said.
At the committee session, Councilman and committee member Ray Liberto said there should be exceptions for those who may be visiting loved ones after dark, due to work constraints.
“If you are leaving work after dark, can I visit the cemetery before I go home? The curfew is more or less to keep kids and teens out at night,” he said.
After Fuller’s committee report to council last week, Councilman Jack Hansen spoke up in support of the proposed curfew.
“The cemetery hours is a good idea,” he said. “Every cemetery I’ve ever been to has hours when it’s open and closed.”
In addition, the cemetery board is also looking into the types of plants and flowers allowed at gravesites, and it looks to make a decision on that matter in coming months.
Lansdale Borough acquired the cemetery from Lansdale Cemetery Inc. last year. With its members dying off and becoming frail, the group approached Lansdale Borough about taking over ownership and maintenance of the cemetery. Fuller is on the new board of directors, along with Saldutti and public works supervisor Rick DeLong.
The borough is, at present, working on a GIS database of the cemetery’s plots, spearheaded by borough GIS analyst Justin Smith. The plan is to do away with the paper record and plot and record all details of each plot digitally for future preservation.