SAGINAW (WJRT) -
(05/28/14) - Saginaw is taking some heavy criticism for the less than satisfactory conditions of local cemeteries.
Some people we talked to say city leaders are not totally to blame.
"I think it's disrespectful, I think we need to respect our ancestors better," said JoAnn Nacrato.
Nacrato is visiting Saginaw's Forest Lawn Cemetery. The grass is cut there, where a number of flags fly over veterans' grave sites, but in other areas of the cemetery, city crews and people in the Tri-Cap Community Corrections Program are doing their best to catch up.
Some Memorial Day visitors were upset that the grass was so high, especially around the graves of veterans. That prompted a number of volunteers to come out with mowers and clippers on Wednesday.
Officials admit they're behind on maintenance at Forest Lawn and two other city operated cemeteries - blaming the rough winter, the wet spring and budget cuts.
Bobby Meija says he visits his son's grave site often and keeps it up himself. His son, Bobby Meija II was killed while serving in Iraq in 2006. He is not blaming the city.
"It's not their fault, people have to help out, volunteers, families, they have to pitch in, they have to help out," he said.
Nacrato, who was visiting her grandmother's grave, is happy to see work crews finally getting the grass cut, but believes bad weather and funding problems shouldn't get all the blame.
"I think what we've done is lost that sense of community, and that sense of taking care of what we own," she said.
City officials are looking for volunteers to help cut the grass in the cemeteries. If you are interested, you are asked to call Saginaw City Hall.