The city of Blue Hill is accountable for a mixup at a town-owned cemetery wherein cremated stays have been buried in a plot that already had been bought to a unique household, city officers stated Monday morning.
Blue Hill officers acknowledged that the city unintentionally bought the identical plot at Seaside Cemetery to 2 completely different households. Former staff of the city, who moved on to different jobs earlier than the issue got here to gentle, bought the plot first to at least one household after which later to a different.
The Harris household, who have been the second patrons of the plot, buried Christina Harris’ cremains there final November. However in June, when the Harrises contacted the city about erecting a monument on the plot, they have been instructed they buried Christina Harris’ cremains within the mistaken place.
The Bangor Each day Information reported final month that the Harrises had buried the cremains within the mistaken plot, primarily based on an interview with Choose Board Chair Ellen Greatest.
Since then the Harris household and the Billings household, who have been the primary patrons of the plot, have lobbied the city to repair the state of affairs — each by finding out which household would get which plot, and by acknowledging that the city made the error, not the households.
Patrick Harris, Christina Harris’ son, stated he has documentation that he, his sister and his aunt buried his mom’s cremains in the identical plot that they thought that they had bought two years in the past.
“The City of Blue Hill bought this lot, #62, to my aunt in the summertime of 2021,” Harris stated. “She then deeded it to my sister and I for the aim of interring our mom, Christina Harris. I’m, actually, in possession of a contract for stated lot that was co-signed by Ellen Greatest.”
Greatest didn’t return a message left at her workplace on Monday.
Harris stated he went to the Blue Hill city workplace in June to straighten issues out.
“Upon investigating with the brand new city clerk, she found that, between two of her predecessors, the lot had been double-sold, and that one other household had owned it since 2020 and certainly had already made a burial there,” he stated. “As soon as the clerical error was found, she has been working diligently with the city administrator to appropriate the issue with out additional upset.”
After the mixup got here to gentle, the city agreed to maneuver Christina Harris’ cremains to an adjoining unsold lot at its personal expense.
“Members of the Harris and Billings households attended a latest Choose Board assembly to specific
their unhappiness in regards to the error and a few report within the Bangor Each day Information that implied that
one of many households was at fault,” the board stated Monday. “The Choose Board on behalf of the city accepted full accountability for the error and expressed its deep apologies, each for the error and the implication within the BDN report that one of many households had accomplished one thing mistaken.”
City officers stated they’re taking steps to make sure that the city precisely retains monitor of who owns which lot in any respect three of its municipal cemeteries, which embrace Mountain View off Tamworth Farm Highway and the Previous Settlers Cemetery on Union Avenue.
Additionally, after years of contracting out all of its public works capabilities, the city just lately has employed its first-ever public works worker, who is predicted to assist with the city’s cemetery operations.
“This could by no means occur”, stated Jim Dow, a member of the Choose Board. “We absolutely perceive
the households’ misery. Neither household was at fault.”