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Officials Waive Burial Fees to Remove Unmarked Grave Remains

They were forgotten long ago. But the dozens of people buried at an unmarked cemetery near the old State Hospital grounds in Evansville may soon have a new home.
They were forgotten long ago. But the dozens of people buried at an unmarked cemetery near the old State Hospital grounds in Evansville may soon have a new home.

At it's meeting this afternoon, the Board of Public Works approved to waive the burial fees for those remains. City Engineer Pat Keepes says the remains could likely be buried at Oak Hill Cemetery.

Late last year, the city was drawing up plans to build a pedestrian overpass near Vann Ave. and the Lloyd Expressway. That's when archaeologists discovered an unmarked cemetery near the old State Hospital grounds. Before moving forward with the project, those remains have to be moved likely to a public cemetery.

"It's got to be done," said Keepes. "It doesn't make any sense to charge ourselves as a municipality to perform this necessary task."

Keepes says archaeologists have determined there are anywhere from 30 to 70 grave sites at the unmarked cemetery, some of them dating back to the early 1900's. Waiving the fees saves the city at least $2,000 per grave.
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