Council hears complaint on cemetery workers


By Ryan Berry

GREENVILLE — Greenville City Council heard a complaint from a resident that lives next to the Greenville-Union Cemetery at its Aug. 1 meeting. The complainant claims the Greenville-Union Cemetery “butchered” her trees.

“I am here because of the cemetery,” said the resident. “Tracy Tryon (cemetery director) had cut my trees that did not need cut. He’s more worried about my trees than he is their trees,” the complainant said. She shared there are tombstones and other debris on her property that has been there for 50 years. “When he butchered my trees, I didn’t appreciate it. I got mad and the cops were called,” the complainant revealed. The complainant believes because she made a joke about Tryon and his workers, the cemetery purposely chose to trim her trees and other shrubs and greenery near her property to clear the way for homeless people to camp on her property. “I’m not happy about this,” she said.

The complainant then showed council members photos of grievances she has with the cemetery.

After nearly five minutes of letting the complainant speak, Council President John Baumgardner interrupted. “The Greenville-Union Cemetery has a board that is made up of trustees and Greenville City Council members. I think this would be more suited to go to that board meeting,” he said.

Tryon came to the podium next and stated they would send her a certified letter of when the next meeting of the Greenville-Union Cemetery board is. Tryon started to speak but was cut off by President Baumgardner who explained this issue needs to go before the cemetery’s board. “I know, but I need to clarify because she’s been up here and attributing a lot of things to me,” said Tryon. He explained he has been at the cemetery for four years and had no knowledge of the issues with the tombstones. “We will be glad to retrieve anything once we have permission to go onto her property,” he said. He shared they have tried to work with her in cleaning up trash on her property. In one instance, the cemetery asked for help from the city’s street department to clean up trash that the cemetery’s employees couldn’t get. Tryon said there were vacuums, bicycles, mattresses and other items.

Tryon also explained why the cops were called. He said he tried to calm her down, but when she began to touch him and his employees, he wanted the police to be there so it would not escalate.

A meeting for the Greenville-Union Cemetery board has not been scheduled, but plans are to have one in August. Tryon reiterated his plan to send the complainant a certified letter with the date and time.

Both the city and Greenville Township provide funding for the cemetery, which is under a joint board consisting of members from council and township trustees.

Jimmy Mead addressed the council and made a plea to the city to do something about the safety of crosswalks at a couple of intersections. Mead, who uses a scooter to get around, specifically pointed to the intersection of Wagner Avenue and Russ Road. He said he has had a few scary moments trying to cross the street at that intersection when motorists are trying to turn right while he is crossing the road. He asked the council to put up a sign reminding motorists to be careful of pedestrians.

Safety/Service Director Ryan Delk and Mayor Steve Willman shared they have had discussions about the issue and will get recommendations from Choice One Engineering to see what can be done to make the intersection safer for pedestrians. The mayor agreed to keep Mead in the loop on what will be done.

Jana Deeter addressed the council and asked what could be done with trash and boarded up windows and some of the other issues at the Colonial Trailer Park. Deeter was informed the city is working with the Ohio Department of Commerce to try and take care of some of the issues at the trailer park. The Department of Commerce has authority over trailer parks in Ohio and they have been contacted. Deeter also asked the city police department to keep an eye on Harmon Avenue and Greenwave Way. She reported several instances of drag racing in the area.

While many homeowners have already taken care of issues with their sidewalks, Delk said the city will begin the process of determining the cost and will begin scheduling repairs to sidewalks that haven’t been completed in the near future. Council approved a resolution on Tuesday to enter into a contract for sidewalk grinding. Delk said the grinding will be performed on sidewalks that are in good repair but may be a quarter of an inch or less difference in height where they abut. This service will be paid for by the city. Delk said he was pleased with the number of homeowners that chose to repair their own sidewalks.

The next regular meeting of Greenville City Council will be Tuesday, Aug. 15, 7:30 p.m., Council Chambers, Municipal Building.

To contact Daily Advocate Editor Ryan Berry, email [email protected].

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