By JEANNIE FALKNOR
Leader Staff Writer
The Board of City Commisioners today took the first step in a legal procedure which will ultimately allow the city to take control of the old Seventh Street Cemetery, or African Cemetery No. 2.
Also today, first reading was given to an ordinance which will bring the city's standards of safety regarding fire prevention up to date.
Because the city has been unable to determine ownership of the Seventh Street Cemetery and no one has been found who claims responsibility for it, the city gave first reading to an ordinance declaring the Seventh Street Cemetery abandoned.
Mayor Foster Pettit said the city has been blamed over the years for not cutting the weeds in the cemetery and not keeping it up, when actually the city did not own it.
Complaints had been received by the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department concerning weeds, trash, rats, and shallow graves.
As a result of this "a strong investigation was made," the mayor said, into the ownership of the cemetery, but to no avail.
"As to what is done to the land and the graves is a question of feasibility," Mayor Pettit said.
According to a Health Department report, there are approximately 1,000 graves in the old cemetery.
Mayor Pettit said an investigation will be made into whether these graves can be moved and at what expense.
The first job, the mayor said, is "maintaining it in a proper fashion."
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