STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
MARBLE FALLS — People looking for loved ones or historic gravesites at the Marble Falls City Cemetery soon can turn to their smartphone, tablet, or computer to find them thanks to a parks department initiative.
Marble Falls Parks and Recreation Director Robert Moss reported to the city’s parks and recreation commission Aug. 7 that crews have completed a mapping system for the cemetery, which is located at 400 S. Avenue S at Johnson Street.
The next step is for Chelsea Seiter-Weatherford, Geographic Information Systems analyst for the city of Marble Falls, to build the online interface.
“We finally got all the data and information,” Moss said. “It looks really interesting. Chelsea is real excited about what she has and applying the information.”
Seiter-Weatherford will take the data and create a webpage for it. Moss said every gravesite will have coordinates, a plot photo, and information on the person buried in the plot if applicable.
“She’ll take all the data that’s on a spreadsheet and apply it to graphics,” he said. “So when you type in a name, it’ll light up the relative’s square. That’s not a small project.”
The online mapping system will allow people to type in a name on the website and come within a 20-foot-by-20-foot square of where that individual is buried.
In addition, the online system will show plots for sale.
Currently, cemetery sexton Lewis Fincher, who is also the parks department superintendent, spends quite a bit of his time helping families find plots of relatives, Moss said.
The director also told the commissioners the parks department has hired an intern for the next 10 weeks. The Texas State University graduate has a degree in recreation and administration and will be paid $11.25 an hour.
Moss said the intern will be tasked with building a recreation program for the city, attending staff meetings, and learning other day-to-day tasks that go with leading a parks and recreation department.
The director said establishing a recreation program will make it easier on the department as the city grows.
“I want him to analyze the situation and build a five-year plan,” Moss said. “I think it’ll give him an opportunity to use his degree. This will challenge his newly acquired knowledge and apply it to something.”
That five-year plan will be an outlook of where the recreation program is headed and feature facilities, equipment, leagues, and partnerships with other entities such as Marble Falls Independent School District and the YMCA of the Highland Lakes at Galloway-Hammond in Burnet.
“He’ll look at what we’re doing now and the resources we have now, our fields, our personnel,” Moss said. “We may find that Marble Falls isn’t in position to drop anything. What we may find is what we have in place works for our sports associations and YMCA.”
Moss had also requested hiring a recreation coordinator during his portion of the budget workshop with the Marble Falls City Council on July 13 that “didn’t make the cut.”