A year later, historic cemetery still in disrepair

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A historic cemetery in Albuquerque’s is in disrepair. The people in charge of it told KRQE News 13 they would clean it up a year ago, but not much has changed since.

Tagged walls, broken glass and a torn American flag. They are all common sights at the Historic Fairview Cemetery where some of the city’s most famous founders and state leaders are buried.

“They have significance and to really see them discarded in pretty much a corner of this cemetery, it breaks my heart,” said Christine Taute.

People have been complaining about the neglected cemetery for years. In May 2014, News 13 took those concerns to Daniels Family Funeral Services, the company who owns the property.

Vice President of New Mexico Operations Mark Shalz said unlike Fairview Memorial Park next door, the historic cemetery was never set up with a fund for basic upkeep. However, he said last year his crews were working on cleaning it and people could expect change within a couple of weeks.

“We just feel that it’s part of our responsibility to be a responsible member of the community and help out,” Shalz told News 13 last May.

News 13 asked people if they noticed a change.

“I haven’t in regards to the big change they said that was going to happen,” said Taute.

Taute, a former cemetery volunteer, said the weeds that once were knee high are now controlled, but she’s still disappointed by the overall progress.

“I don’t see the things I think I should see for change,” she said.

KRQE News 13 went to the historic cemetery this week. One of the exterior walls had collapsed, dozens of headstones were cracked and trash littered the area.

Shalz refused to do an interview. Instead, he sent a statement that said in part, “Fairview continues to voluntarily provide basic grounds services in the historic cemetery.” He cited further maintenance is a family obligation.

Last year the cemetery said it was applying for non-profit status to help pay for maintenance costs. That has since gone through. Officials there are now working on handing over upkeep duties to the non-profit.

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