Marble Falls cemetery mapping system more user-friendly; parks improvements continue

STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO

Brian Murphy (left) and Lewis Fletcher, both of the Marble Falls Parks and Recreation Department, Chelsea Seiter-Weatherford, GIS analyst for the city of Marble Falls, and Monique Breaux, administrative assistant of the Parks and Recreation and Water departments, are using their smartphones to pinpoint their exact location in Marble Falls City Cemetery through the city’s new online mapping system. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

Brian Murphy (left) and Lewis Fletcher, both of the Marble Falls Parks and Recreation Department, Chelsea Seiter-Weatherford, GIS analyst for the city of Marble Falls, and Monique Breaux, administrative assistant of the Parks and Recreation and Water departments, are using their smartphones to pinpoint their exact location in Marble Falls City Cemetery through the city’s new online mapping system. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

The Marble Falls Parks and Recreation Commission reviewed several important items during its regular meeting Oct. 1, including the online map of Marble Falls City Cemetery, Phase 1A of improvements at Lakeside and Johnson parks, and Spring Break 2019. 

The commissioners enjoyed looking at the online cemetery map, a project that has been in the works since last fall. 

The map was created by Chelsea Seiter-Weatherford, the city’s GIS analyst. 

“She has made a lot of headway with the cemetery page online,” Parks and Recreation Department Director Robert Moss said. 

The new mapping system can be found on the city of Marble Falls’s website under Parks and Recreation.

On the map, the cemetery, 400 S. Avenue S, is divided into 13 sections. Click on a section to see gardens or gravesites.

In the search key on the top right, people can type in the last name of the person buried in the cemetery. If there’s more than one person with the same last night, the program will give a list of people. Click on the person you’re looking for and receive information on where the gravesite is located. 

The map is color-coded to show which sites are in use, which sites are reserved, which sites are available, and which sites are occupied by veterans. 

Moss said staff members can update information and upload photos. 

The best part is when a person uses a smartphone standing inside the cemetery.

“Click ‘My Location,’ and it shows where you are in relation to the cemetery,” Moss said. “It works really well with a cellphone.”

The online system replaces the long map the Parks and Recreation Department used to unroll so people could look for a gravesite before visiting the cemetery. 

Last year, Texas Cemetery Restoration used a machine to take images and recorded GPS coordinates every 2 feet as it examined the ground for “disturbances,” or graves. The crew also took 2,000 photos of gravesites to match the GPS coordinates.

During the commission’s meeting, Moss also gave an update on Phase 1A of construction work at Lakeside and Johnson parks. 

He noted regulatory permitting “isn’t an issue” and that the Lower Colorado River Authority will likely do a drawdown of Lake Marble Falls after the first of the year. 

“A lot of work has to be done in two months,” Moss said. 

The city is calling for bids from construction companies to build a beach at Lakeside Park.

“This could be a challenge,” Moss said. “Not everyone does work on bulkheads. It has to be done in short time in a specific time.”  

City staff members are also working on utilities and pathways at Lakeside Park. 

“It’s been quite an interesting challenge,” he said.   

The tennis court is no longer there, and Moss believes the basketball court’s baskets and lighting will be removed in the next month.

Also, Monique Breaux, administrative assistant to the parks and water departments and the lead organizer of Spring Break activities, told the commissioners the holiday is March 18-22, 2019, and that the committee is looking to change some activities, so she is taking suggestions. 

One is to add Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) activities, so she is looking for partners to lead this portion. 

Participants want more water activities such as slip-and-slides, more tournaments for video gamers, so she is pricing game trucks from out of the area, and perhaps cooking and baking activities. 

Partners in health and beauty to give free tips for skincare and applying makeup also are needed.

Commissioner Dedrick Thompson suggested the committee consider adding events for students who are autistic or have have special-needs. 

He noted that his autistic son couldn’t participant in many of last year’s activities.

“We want to be more integrating in Marble Falls,” he said.

Chairman Charles Watkins suggested adding some art activities as well. 

Breaux said Chick-fil-A, a returning sponsor, has committed to donate $2,500 worth of food to be distributed throughout the week.  

jfierro@thepicayune.com

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