The Fort Payne City Council on Tuesday approved to incorporate Fort Payne Memorial Gardens Cemetery into the city’s ownership.
The cemetery, which is located at the corner of Gault Avenue and 45th Street and adjacent to Heil Environmental, was in receivership with the Alabama Department of Insurance. A family who inherited the property asked if the city would take over the land to better maintain the cemetery.
The property encompasses seven-and-a-half acres of land with 86 people currently buried. There are 125 graves already sold, and Councilman Wade Hill said a survey of the land showed approximately 1,050 still available.
The grounds maintenance crew, a group with the Fort Payne Public Works Department, will keep up the property, similar to the city’s existing Glenwood Cemetery. Hill said, however, the maintenance will be much easier because instead of upright tombstones at each grave, Fort Payne Memorial Gardens has ground-level monuments that can be easily mowed around.
“I’ve spoken to several folks that have family members buried up there and they showed an interest in this being taken care of,” Council President Brian Baine said. “I think the city does a great job with Glenwood.”
Councilwoman Lynn Brewer said “this is a long-time problem solved” for the community.
The council also:
• approved Resolution 2020-01, the vacation of an alleyway at Gault Avenue and Seventh Street N. just south of Edward Jones after a public hearing was held. No comments were made from the public.
• approved Resolutions 2020-06-12 that accept the lowest prices for annual bids.
• approved Ordinance 2020-01, the first reading of the proposed rezoning subject to the public hearing concerning 10.63 acres on Airport Road from Rural Farm M-1 and owned by Collen Greenwood.
• heard from Spencer DeVries, youth and worship pastor at The Well Family Worship Center in Scottsboro. He said The Well is expanding its reach into Fort Payne and kicked off its first worship service at the DeKalb Theatre on Sunday. According to @thewellfp page on Facebook, The Well Fort Payne will officially launch on Easter Sunday this year. The next public worship service at the theatre is March 15.
• announced the retirement of Matt Wilson from the police department. Police Chief Randy Bynum said Wilson will leave at the end of the month to work with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency as a state trooper.