HOMESTEAD (KDKA) — If the board that oversees the Homestead Cemetery doesn’t come up with a significant amount of funding by June 30, the cemetery will be forced to file for bankruptcy.
Board members pleaded with Munhall Borough Council Wednesday night, saying they’ve “tried everything” to raise money to operate the huge space.
Nearly 15,000 grave sites are cared for by one employee, a superintendent.
KDKA’s Kym Gable talked to Sally Pietryga as she visited the burial plots of her loved ones.
“My husband is buried here. My mother and father, down below,” she pointed out.
Pietryga came to the council meeting to ask the mayor and council members if the rumors she had been hearing were true.
“I was hoping it wasn’t true, but evidently it is. I mean it’s very emotional when you have loved ones buried here. I enjoy coming here, too,“ she said.
Board member Donald Wilker said, “We’re not able to keep up with the funds going out. It takes $5,000 to $8,000 a month to run the cemetery. This year, they’ve only had four burials. We’re just pouring money out.”
Burials are one of the only sources of income for the historical cemetery which has been in operation since 1886.
Board member Jennifer Wilker said family members are “in shock.”
“They’re upset and asking us things like, how has this happened? We haven’t had the business,” she said.
The mayor, borough manager, and council members say they will look at additional funding options, but didn’t make any promises.
At least one local historical organization is also seeking assistance.