Financial Trouble at Mountain View Cemetery?

January 16, 2009 6:58:07 PM PST
Financial troubles appear to be affecting Fresno's oldest cemetery. Mountain View Cemetery has nearly sold all their plots but they need to make more money.Mountain View Cemetery is home to both the very old and sometimes young, but even places of eternal rest can become victims of economic hardships. Cemetery operators are claiming in court documents, they don't have enough money for ongoing maintenance and future improvements. More revenue is hard to find because the cemetery is nearly full, but their solution is within the gates.

A roadway winds through the Danish section of the cemetery. By shutting down this area, cemetery operators hope to accommodate an extra 300 graves. In total, they want to close 5 small roads to make room for nearly 1,000 new graves. But California law requires a judge to approve changes at older cemeteries like Mountain View.

Enrique Reade is a funeral consultant who says a lot of people want to be buried at Fresno's oldest cemetery. He called Mountain View affordable, but there's an age old expectation. Read said, "They want to make sure where they are going to be is going to be taken care of. But we go back to the same thing ... money."

The management declined an on-camera interview. Until a judge hands down a decision, the future of this cemetery remains unclear. Late Friday afternoon, an attorney representing the cemetery said the property is not going to close, and they're only being proactive to build up the property's finances.

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