Farmington cemetery restricts landscaping

By WEEK Producer

July 12, 2013 Updated Jul 12, 2013 at 7:02 PM CDT

FARMINGTON, Ill. -- A Farmington woman is upset about the regulations now being enforced at city-owned Oak Ridge Cemetery where her husband is buried.

Shirley Balagna recently received a letter saying she had to remove the white rock and landscaping around Delbert Balagna's headstone before Monday, July 15.

Tougher restrictions on landscaping at the cemetery went into effect in March of 2012, almost two years after Mr. Balagna was buried.

The new rules are posted at the cemetery.

Farmington's city administrator offered to remove the landscaping at no charge and replace it with dirt, but Mrs. Balagna wasn't satisfied.

"No I'm not. He promised me black dirt and grass seed and rake it and make it even. I don't see that its raked, its got lumps and I don't see any grass seed," said Shirley Balagna.

"It makes it rough for us to try and get in and mow. There's a liability issue if we pick up a rock and damage another headstone," explained Farmington city administrator Rollen Wright. "We just elected to update the landscaping rules."

Shirley Balagna says she would have been fined if she didn't remove the landscaping, but Wright said there was never a threat of a fine.