Highland Cemetery irrigation system replacement ongoing

Caitlin Walker Photo

Visitors to Highland Cemetery will encounter ongoing work as replacement of the irrigation system gets underway. 

Thus far, on the north side, a brick walkway and gravel around a group of headstones have been removed. The walkway was creating maintenance issues and the gravel was installed because of difficulty getting water for grass to that section. The new irrigation system should solve both of those issues. What to do with the bricks is under consideration. 

The project is expected to take at least several years to complete. The cemetery district board agreed to hire two part-time temporary workers specific to the irrigation project, in addition to the seasonal maintenance staff.

Following the windstorm that uprooted two large pine trees, “topped off” three more, and damaged a structure and a fence, the district has filed an insurance claim and plans to call in professionals to reset toppled headstones. High Rise Tree Care will remove tree stumps and some dead trees on one side of the cemetery. The district has discussed purchasing replacement trees, and talked about putting in a pine tree that could be decorated for Christmas time. 

Kay Bivens with the Rio Blanco County Historical Society revisited the board to talk about signage for the bank robbers’ trail that will be placed in the cemetery, at Circle Park and around town, creating a walking path that tells the story of Meeker’s foiled bank robbery in the 1800s. The district has agreed to help fund the cost of the signs.

Other topics of discussion included service needed for the automatic gate, making sure row markers are visible, and visitors’ comments about ground squirrels, dry spots, and “how good the cemetery is looking.”

The next board meeting will be July 9 at 8:30 a.m. at Highland Cemetery. 

By NIKI TURNER | editor@ht1885.com