The Lincoln County commissioners agreed Monday to provide basic care to the historical Fair View cemetery south of Wallace, following receipt of a petition from 38 people who asked for it.
In doing so, the commissioners followed a state law geared to help preserve small, pioneer cemeteries that become neglected or abandoned.
The law requires a cemetery to be mowed each year within two weeks of Memorial Day.
Resident Bruce Fulk, whose grandfather is buried in the Fair View cemetery and who lives nearby, has been voluntarily mowing a path around the inside of the 4 acre cemetery for several years.
Fulk said his grandparents homesteaded 1.5 miles from there, and a lot of graves are from the 1880s.
He told the commissioners he is about the only person in that area who can care for the place.
“I think it should have permanent fencing,” Fulk said, adding that the current fence was erected by his father more than 50 years ago and is still standing, but won’t last a lot longer.
He said he would hate for the cemetery to be grazed or planted to crops some year because for want of a good fence.
The county is obliged to allocate up to $1,000 a year for rudimentary maintenance, if needed, because a petition was filed with the required number of names.
During the discussion, Commissioner Joe Hewgley expressed concern that all the small cemeteries throughout the county would each ask the county for $1,000 a year, increasing taxing and spending.
He and Fulk agreed that yearly maintenance should cost much less than $1,000. Hewgley suggested maybe $100 would cover basic costs, however, he said in cases where no one cares for the cemetery, the county would have to hire someone to mow it once a year.
Commissioner Bill Henry again expressed hope that volunteers will keep the cemetery properly maintained, perhaps a 4H club or a Scout troop.
Henry also thanked the Aaron Edwards family, who recently mowed and trimmed up the Fair View cemetery at no charge, just because it needed to be done. The Edwards do the same at four cemeteries in Frontier County when needed, backing the efforts of volunteers there, Aaron told the Bulletin.
Commissioner Duane Deterding suggested Fulk get some people together to put up a new fence at Fair View.
In other business, the commissioners continued to discuss and consider property valuation protests, and approved an interlocal agreement with the city for fuel storage. The county pays the city 1 cent a gallon for the service.