Fall River City Council meets to discuss cemetery clean up controversy

Oak Grove Cemetery in Fall River

FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — Fall River City Council is searching for answers from a board that was responsible for removing urns and planters in a historic city cemetery.

An unannounced cleanup back in March sparked the controversy when trinkets and wreaths were removed.

Last month, family members found that clean up efforts had escalated when they noticed cement urns and planters, some dug up from the ground, were removed.

The Board of Park Commissions took responsibility at a Tuesday night meeting with the council.

“Everyone has their own opinion. I think it was stupid,” said City Council Vice President Linda Pereira.

Parks Commissions Board Chairman Jeffery Silvia did not know how many urns and planters were destroyed and discarded.

“Whether there was a miscommunication between the board, the park manager, and employees or however it happened, I don’t know, but the board did vote to clean the cemetery out,” said Silvia.

Anyone who believes their loved ones’ items were removed can call the city and ask the cemetery department if it is possible to get them back, according to the city council.

Pereira was able to say to families though, “they can rest assured that this will never happen again.”