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Grave relocation permit denied

By Walter Geiger Judge Tommy Wilson has denied the City of Barnesville’s request for a permit to relocate at least 103 graves from the historic Wadsworth-Clayton Cemetery. The ruling, which came at 12:10 p.m. Friday after a three-hour hearing, was centered upon the city’s admission that it does not currently have an industrial prospect for the site that is requiring the cemetery be relocated. As the hearing came to a close, Judge Wilson asked that specific question of the city team and mayor Peter Banks answered with a simple ‘No’. In his ruling, the judge wrote in part: ”The court finds there is no specific industrial prospect that has set forth a definite commitment which requires the removal of the cemetery at this time. If the permit is granted, the court cannot undo something that might not be necessary. Movement of the cemetery should be a last resort and only after all alternatives have been considered….The court finds that the city has not laid out a specific enough plan for the use of the site that shows a greater need for industrial purposes over the value of the descendants’ interest in not disturbing the deceaseds’ peaceful environment.” After issuing his ruling, Judge Wilson continued to admonish the descendants of those buried in the cemetery to seek a compromise with the city. He noted that the city can start action to seek another permit tomorrow. ”You need to work toward a compromise. In the long run, you will not win,” the judge concluded. For much more on this story, see the 7.31.18 print edition of The Herald Gazette.

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