UPDATE: Superintendent says ‘the Board is not asking to move the cemetery in order to build a baseball field’
CLAY COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Update 07/09: Clay County Schools Superintendent sent a statement to WYMT. In the statement, William Sexton said the Board of Education is not asking to move the cemetery in order to build a baseball field.
The statement said in April the Board approved a multi-million dollar plan to build a new baseball field, softball field, athletic complex and Area Technology Center on the campus of Clay County High School. This also included the renovation of the football field.
Sexton said after plans were presented and approved, “multiple families” asked for Hoskins Cemetery to be moved and that “their loved ones be relocated.” He said the Board began the process of relocating the cemetery.
You can read the statement below from the Superintendent:
WYMT spoke to Clay County School Board Attorney Sharon Allen Friday afternoon. She told us the petition has not been filed with the Clay County Fiscal Court, but will be “soon.”
Once the petition is filed, Allen told us the fiscal court will vote on the resolution. If passed, she said work does not begin immediately. The resolution allows the Board of Education (BOE) to apply for a state permit to move the graves.
Allen added in 2018, two cemeteries were moved in Manchester to build a new road.
A group of protestors joined a Clay County Fiscal Court meeting on Thursday to discuss and stop the potential move of the Hoskins Cemetery.
“I thought, oh my gosh this must be a misprint this is you know cannot be true,” said Angela Hacker who has a cousin buried at the cemetery. “Then as time progressed and more awareness became available, this is real.”
Protestors told WYMT the Clay County Board of Education wants to move the cemetery so it can build a baseball field. Hacker said her cousin, who was in the Civil War, has been buried there for more than 100 years.
“I get a lack of disrespect feeling, you know, we’re taught to not disturb the dead, let the dead rest.”
William Stivers, who lives in Clay County, said the cemetery was not taken care of for many years. He added the inmates were taking care of it before the pandemic.
“The graves will be moved to where they are taken care of,” said Stivers. “They’re not talking about digging them and dumping them over a hill, they’re talking about moving them to place where they will be taken care of.”
Clay County Judge-Executive Johnny Johnson said the fiscal court listened to both sides. He said the county does not have control over cemeteries, but the county can help mow or make a road up to the cemetery if asked.
“Discuss and see the right and proper way how to handle this, if we have to move it on up to a higher court we may have to do that,” he said. “We are going to make the legal action on the cemetery on what to do, or not to do.”
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