City of Dallas spruces up neglected cemetery after complaints

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by CYNTHIA VEGA and SHON GABLES

WFAA

Posted on July 23, 2010 at 2:48 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 23 at 7:37 PM

Lagow Cemetery

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DALLAS - Days after WFAA reported on an area around a South Dallas cemetery that had become an illegal dumping ground, a change has been made in the hopes to curb the problem.

People have been dumping everything from trash to old sofas and chairs on a sidewalk near the Thomas Lagow Cemetery. The cemetery's grass and brush had become overgrown, spurring the dumping problem.

Early Friday morning,  a crew of workers with Dallas Code Compliance began removing debris and cutting grass at the cemetery. Weeds around the tombstones had grown as high as five-feet high, but were pulled Friday, much to the happiness of area residents.

Neighbors said the cemetery had become so overgrown it began resembling a jungle, which they called a giant eyesore on top of being disrespectful to those buried there.

Mary Williams lodged complaints. “I called 311, called code enforcer, you know” she said but she got no results.

“That's awful, to let a place get like that in a place where people care about their neighborhood and we love our neighborhood," said Williams.

June Latson, a neighbor, who pushed for the cleanup, said she was very happy the cemetery has been transformed. "Can you see the smile on my face? I'm very, very happy, and this is only the beginning of trying to get this whole area to maintain the dignity of this cemetery."

“I think it’s great and now we can see over here,” said Lisa Richardson.

The City of Dallas intervened after the property owner did not respond to warnings to care for the property with a deadline of Thursday. City officials said they will place a lien on the property, including the cost of its cleanup.

The cemetery has now been put on the city's list for routine maintenance.

E-mail: cvega@wfaa.com and sgables@wfaa.com

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