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JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF

MARBLE FALLS — A discussion about the city cemetery’s future dominated the monthly Marble Falls Parks and Recreation Commission meeting May 6.

Chairman Dave Rhodes asked the commission to approve a motion to advise the city council on selling the Marble Falls cemetery to a private company.

Several commissioners expressed surprise at Rhodes regarding the cemetery. The agenda item read that the profit-and-loss margin of the cemetery was to be presented to the commission.

The only action taken on the item was to place it on June’s agenda.

Parks and Recreation Director Robert Moss read through the spreadsheet, noting it takes about $41,440 to operate the facility with $37,750 going to labor.

Meanwhile, the cemetery brings in $14,300 in plots, niches for urns and donations.

Moss added the cemetery is non-perpetual, which means the maintenance of each plot is the responsibility of the family of the deceased.

Then Rhodes spoke up.

“I don’t believe the city, for many different reasons, should be in the cemetery business,” he said. “There are private companies that do this day in and day out.”

Commissioners Bob Fallis and Leta Stevenson-Smith said they would like more discussion and research on the matter before voting on the measure.

Moss said city hall has explored hiring a private business to maintain the cemetery but noted the least expensive bid was about $27,000 with the most expensive at $75,000 a year.

Fallis asked if city staff had contacted family members of the deceased to tell them maintaining plots was up to them. Moss said that’s a challenge because many of the records don’t have updated information.

“I think we need to have this on the next agenda,” Stevenson-Smith said.

The next regular meeting of the commission is June 3 at noon at the council chambers, 800 Third St.

jfierro@thepicayune.com