Richmond mulls historic cemetery takeover
City officials are weighing whether to take ownership of two historic Black cemeteries left in limbo by the collapse of the Enrichmond Foundation.
Why it matters: The properties, which sat unmaintained for decades prior to a community-led cleanup effort, are the final resting places of some of the city's most prominent residents, including Maggie Walker and John Mitchell.
What's happening: Councilwoman Cynthia Newbille introduced a resolution last week that would direct officials to explore the issue.
- She told Axios she considers it the most logical way to ensure the properties are preserved.
The intrigue: Enrichmond's sudden collapse last year remains unexplained, and despite requests by City Council members, there's been no investigation, criminal or otherwise.
- In addition to leaving the cemeteries in limbo, dozens of community groups lost more than $100,000 in donations that the foundation was holding for them.
What they're saying: Friends of East End, which spearheaded the original cemetery cleanup effort and was critical of Enrichmond's stewardship of the properties, says it supports city ownership.
- "We have long urged the city and other levels of government to support community-led efforts to save East End and Evergreen," the group wrote in a press release.
What's next: At a meeting last week, council members continued the resolution for 60 days, saying more behind-the-scenes work needs to take place before they can move forward.
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