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Families Encouraged To Report Rundown Cemeteries

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(COLUMBUS) – Many Ohioans will observe this holiday weekend visiting cemeteries to commemorate those who died while serving in the military and family members they’ve lost. The Ohio Department of Commerce’s Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing, which is charged with ensuring the proper maintenance and operation of cemeteries, encourages families to report any concerning issues they spot at Ohio cemeteries this holiday weekend to property owners. 

“Memorial Day is a sacred time of remembrance in the United States,” said Commerce Director Sherry Maxfield. “We want to ensure a positive visit for everyone visiting Ohio cemeteries to honor their loved ones and heroes. For that to happen, cemetery owners need to be aware of issues and our agency needs to know if the problems can’t be resolved locally.” 

Our laws and guidelines for the maintenance and operation of cemeteries help keep cemeteries clean and inviting. These guidelines include cutting the grass at least once a month, removing trash and funeral flowers monthly, along with maintaining and repairing roads, buildings and fencing structures as necessary.

“Cemeteries are the final resting place for our loved ones, including our veterans, making them significant to our history,” said Anne Petit, superintendent of the Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing. “Our maintenance and operation guidelines help ensure Ohioans can honor the memories of the people they care about without any worry.”

If cemetery visitors notice those guidelines are not being met, they should bring it to the attention of the cemetery’s management. If the issue cannot be resolved with cemetery management, you can file a complaint with the Ohio Cemetery Dispute Resolution Commission (OCDRC) by downloading a complaint form online or by emailing Web.Real@com.state.oh.us.

A copy of the complaint will be sent to the cemetery operator for a response. If a response is not issued within 30 days of the complaint, the complainant and the cemetery operator will receive a notice to appear before the commission.

The OCDRC works to resolve disputes through arbitration and conciliation.