With headstones overgrown with weeds, some broken and in disrepair, Meriden’s East Cemetery is in desperate need of maintenance.
Within the coming weeks, Meriden will submit a request for proposal (RFP) to freshen up the property and repair at least a dozen headstones.
East Cemetery is one of Connecticut’s oldest cemeteries, with grave sites dating back hundreds of years.
It is the final resting place for some of the city’s most historical figures, including war veteran’s dating back to the French and Indian War. It is hallowed ground and City Manager Tim Coon wants to treat it with appropriate respect.
Coon will oversee the RFP process and has inspected the property closely analyzing the needs, “It’s not bad for a cemetery that old,” he said.
In recent years, the city has budgeted $5,000 for basic lawn care but the property needs much more. The cemetery has not had a full time caretaker since the 1960s and the property requires extensive clean up.
As for becoming a fully active cemetery again, that does not appear likely.
“It doesn’t look like it’s economically feasible to reopen it for burials because of all the expenses required to bring it up to modern standards,” explained Coon.