Embattled Avon cemetery promises to put out plan for fixing flooded grounds

Families told Cleveland 19 the representatives from Resthaven Cemetery said they are committed to making things right.

Avon Resthaven Cemetery Follow up

AVON, OH (WOIO) - Cleveland 19 has been trying to get action for local families who say their loved ones are being disrespected at an Avon cemetery.

Representatives from Resthaven Cemetery where the relatives are buried met face-to-face with the families Thursday.

Katie Hildebrand told Cleveland 19 the representatives said they are committed to making things right. Her in-laws are buried at Resthaven.

“I’m encouraged, but guardedly so because promises have been made and broken in the past,” Hildebrand said.

Thursday morning, Hildebrand drove two hours and 30 minutes to Columbus to watch the company explain what the cemetery is going to do about the muddy, often flooded grounds.

“I really wanted them to know that this entire group is going to hold them accountable,” she said.

Hildebrand said the best part of her day was being at the capitol, as the petition she started was presented to the Ohio Cemetery Dispute Resolution Committee.

“One thousand-six hundred signatures and 500 comments were submitted to the commissioners,” Hildebrand said. “They really did take it very seriously at that point.”

Hildebrand said families were able to get those in front of the committee because of another woman who made the effort to file this formal complaint with the state.

“If she hadn’t, we wouldn’t have even gotten that far yet,” Hildebrand said. “We’d still be at the point of trying to figure out how to file a complaint."

Nancy King lives across the country. This week, Cleveland 19 obtained a copy of her complaint to the state.

It says our investigations exposed the problems at her family’s grave sites in Avon.

“She saw it on the news and that brought her forward,” Hildebrand said.

King made a bigger move than ranting on social media, and she ended up being the voice for hundreds of families.

“It’s quite another thing to take action, and she took action,” Hildebrand said. “I mean she flew in from California. I think she’s a hero.”

Hildebrand said the company that owns the cemetery property told the commission it’s working to find the route of its flooding problem.

The company agreed to publicly post a plan to fix the grounds by the next meeting with the commission in June.

“What we need to do is be very vigilant and watch that they do,” Hildebrand said.

Hildebrand said state representatives also attended the hearing.

The commission doesn’t have any legal authority to make the cemetery clean up. However, she said it can make recommendations to the state attorney general.

Cleveland 19 reached out to the owners of Resthaven Cemetery to find out when people should expect to see the plan posted and where.

A spokesperson got back to Cleveland 19, but did not answer the question.

He simply told us the company had no comment.

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