Taxpayers to foot bill for vandalism?

October 6, 2008 3:53:49 PM PDT
A cemetery in Ossining was the target of vandals recently, and taxpayers may have to foot the bill. A specialist is being brought in to appraise the damage at the Historic Dale Cemetery, but cemetery director George Weeks estimates it at $20,000.

"Sixty-six stones, a lot of them very old. It was just horrendous," cemetery director George Weeks told the Journal News. "We feel terrible about it."

The specialist will determine which stones might be repaired in-house and which ones will need a masonry expert.

Weeks says some stones were simply toppled over, while others were badly damaged.

The newspaper reports that the Town of Ossining took over the cemetery in 2004 after it was running at a deficit and becoming overgrown. At that time, the town received a $130,000 grant from the state to restore broken headstones, part of $250,000 in state funding.

But the town supervisor says that money paid for a major refurbishment, meaning taxpayers will be responsible for any repairs.

"We're going to be discussing it with our insurance carrier to see if any of it is recoverable," interim supervisor Martha Dodge told the Journal News.

The town reportedly spends around $200,000 annually operating and maintaining the 37-acre cemetery. Police say the vandals struck in late September.



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