Work crews accused of damaging West Knoxville cemetery

Work crews accused of damaging West Knoxville cemetery

Posted:
A viewer submitted several photos showing a truck's trailer stuck near some graves. (source: Harrison Slatery) A viewer submitted several photos showing a truck's trailer stuck near some graves. (source: Harrison Slatery)
Harrison Slatery, who drives by this cemetery daily, says the work being done at the cemetery first caught his eye two weeks ago when debris was being piled in the middle of the cemetery. Harrison Slatery, who drives by this cemetery daily, says the work being done at the cemetery first caught his eye two weeks ago when debris was being piled in the middle of the cemetery.
Knoxville Public Service Department deputy director Chad Weth says the crews could have made smarter decisions on where they put the debris and how close the truck was to the tombstones. Knoxville Public Service Department deputy director Chad Weth says the crews could have made smarter decisions on where they put the debris and how close the truck was to the tombstones.

By JOSH AULT
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Work being done on a West Knoxville cemetery is raising eyebrows as some feel the cemetery is being damaged.

The cemetery is located next to Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church on Lyons View Pike.

6 News first learned there was a problem when viewer Harrison Slatery submitted several photos of the cemetery.

"On Friday, there was a truck stuck with its wheels sunk down in the graves," said Slatery, "That's when I was like 'This is ridiculous.'"   

The truck's trailer is only a few inches from two tombstones. There is clear indication on the truck that it belongs to the city of Knoxville.

Slatery, who drives by this cemetery daily, says the work being done at the cemetery first caught his eye two weeks ago when debris was being piled in the middle of the cemetery.

"You got an old church," said Slatery. "You got the president's home right there, and you have a bunch of debris that you are going to leave somewhere for a week to two weeks. You leave it on the grave sites. It's very visible up and down the road. Everybody knows this is a cemetery. There are just better ways of doing it."    

The city's public service department explained the community requested the work.

"That was a request by the community, Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church," said Knoxville Public Service Department deputy director Chad Weth. "We have Knox County Sheriff Department inmate crews that will perform community service like that. They were actually at the cemetery kind of cleaning it out."    

Weth says the crews could have made smarter decisions on where they put the debris, and on how close the truck was to the tombstones.    

"To my knowledge, there was no damage done to any grave sites or anything like that," said Weth. "We will be going back and repairing the damage we did do by getting the truck tire stuck."

Ron Davis, the church member in charge of the project, says he was aware of the truck being stuck, but says they are nevertheless very grateful for all the work being done to clean up the cemetery.     

He says the area had been overgrown and full of trash for a very long time.     

City officials say the debris and ruts should be cleaned up very soon.      

Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church and its cemetery were both were established in 1872.

Powered by WorldNow

1306 N. Broadway NE Knoxville,
Tennessee 37917

Telephone: 865.637.NEWS(6397)
Fax: 865.525.4091
Email: newsroom@wate.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Young Broadcasting of Knoxville, Inc. A Media General Company.