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Public Works Director Williams responds to maintenance issues
Hillcrest Cemetery cleanup
Cleanup of the cemeteries north of Great Bend has upset some families of the deceased. Flowers and decorations were removed before Veterans Day.

County Works Director Darren Williams responded to recent complaints about the two cemeteries maintained by the county. Hillcrest Cemetery is located at 22 NW 50 Road and Golden Belt Cemetery is located at 59 NW 50 Road. The Golden Belt Veterans’ Memorial is located at the latter and a letter to the editor in Tuesday’s Great Bend Tribune referred to the Golden Belt Cemetery as the “Veterans Cemetery.” Another letter, published today on this page, is also from someone unhappy with how the cemeteries were maintained heading into Veterans Day.

There are two issues. The first was that a group volunteered to pick up dead flowers as a community service but picked up more items than they were supposed to.

“It was just a miscommunication,” Williams said Thursday, adding his department has apologized to those who called to complain. “We told them to clean up stuff on the ground.” The volunteers were not supposed to empty the vases or remove items, he said.

The second issue is that no one has done the “weed eating,” or using a string trimmer to cut down grass and weeds in areas where the lawn mower won’t fit. Williams said the county does pay someone to mow the cemeteries and that person is supposed to also do the necessary weed eating. “He never did,” Williams said. He added that the county will be taking bids for next year’s mowing service at the cemeteries.