Cemetery in Dunn overrun by potholes and complaints


DUNN NC, (WNCN) – Cemeteries are supposed to be a place that brings peace to those who have loved ones buried there, but a cemetery in Dunn is bringing aggravation to a number of people who complain about how difficult it is to access the facility.

Families say problems at Devotional Gardens have been on-going for years despite their complaints.

They say access to gravesites on certain roads is tough because of deteriorating asphalt that has resulted in potholes.

“When it rains, you don’t know how deep that pothole is,” said Wilma Jean Wise, who buried her husband at the cemetery two years ago.

When consumer investigator Steve Sbraccia measured the potholes in Devotional Gardens, he found one as deep as 5 inches, with others averaging about 3 inches deep.

“We’ve been fighting this problem for several years,” said Wise.

When Sbraccia drove through the facility, he found roads near the back end of the cemetery appear to be the worst — with potholes scattered everywhere.

“If you have a handicapped vehicle like ourselves—you hit these potholes and you scrub out,” said Cheyanne Bearfoot. “It tears a vehicle up very quickly.”

And it’s not just the roads.

Some of the sidewalks are deteriorating, making it tough to navigate for the elderly and handicapped.

“The sidewalks are broken and if you have a scooter or wheelchair it makes it difficult to push somebody or ride on it,” said Barefoot.

She also says the crumbling sidewalks will catch tires on a wheelchair or elderly scooter and “fling them to one side.”

 Families say they are frustrated with the cemetery’s owner.

“They are not doing anything to get it fixed,” said Wise. She says she’s tried to talk to both the current and the previous owners without success.

Barefoot says she’s also complained to management.  “My family complained. We have friends who complained. Nothing seems to be changing.”

When Sbraccia went to the cemetery’s on-site office at 12:30 p.m. he found no one there, yet a sign on the door said the offices are supposed to be open until 1:30 every day.

He left a both a phone message for the owner—and went to his home, but couldn’t get a hold of anyone there either.

Sbraccia checked with the NC Cemetery Commission which told him “it’s records are confidential” and it can’t disclose whether it’s received any complaints about Devotional Gardens.

If you have a complaint about a cemetery, you must submit a complaint in writing to the commission.

You can either do that online or give them a call and they’ll mail you a complaint form to fill out.

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