MUNHALL (KDKA) — Tempers flared in Munhall Wednesday evening as residents continue their fight to try and save the Homestead Cemetery, which has run out of cash.
It’s been the final resting place for relatives of local families for more than a century, but the cemetery’s fate is now in the hands of a bankruptcy court.
Founded at the beginning of the industrial age in Western Pennsylvania, the Homestead Cemetery has been a final resting place for generations, but now it’s on legal lockdown.
“My mother and my dad are both buried there. My mother was placed there nine months ago,” said Sandy Wolfe, a local resident.
Wolfe was one of dozens at the Munhall Borough Council meeting on Wednesday evening who wanted to know when the locks will be coming off.
“That’s a disgrace how that cemetery looks,” said one resident. “It doesn’t look good on us Munhall residents nor does it look good to this borough, this Munhall council, and it doesn’t look good on West Homestead, and it doesn’t look good on Homestead.”
Closed due to bankruptcy, residents have been able to tend to plots. However, they’d like to see the chains removed from the front gates.
But the borough says that can’t happen right now.
“Until they file a petition for bankruptcy protection, they still own and operate and control,” said Greg Evashevick, the borough solicitor. “Who put up the chains, this council did not. We don’t have the right to do that.”
For now, Munhall Police say they will not enforce trespassing statutes. But money is also an issue. A lot of individuals that paid for plots are wondering if they will ever be able to rest in peace in the cemetery.
“My stepfather was just buried there in January, and at the end of April, my mom finished paying off her plot that was next to him,” said Victoria Carter, a resident. “She paid with cash and they were supposed to give her a deed and she never received the deed.”