Monmouth, Illinois--- Cemetery caretakers say they’re getting frustrated with people breaking the rules at the city cemetery, because many of the decorations are making it hard to work.
“If you have something on there that's really lightweight, the weed eater will knock it off and the blower will knock it off. We have to spend time, go back and set it back on,” says Jack Hull, cemetery sexton.
The city has gotten a few complaints after crews removed many of the decorations. The city cemetery rulebook says decorations with shepherd hooks and other decorations attached to a monument are allowed on the sites, but lightweight items like, balloons, loose flowers and other toys are prohibited.
Decorations for special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, and other holidays are accepted but they must be removed shortly after.
Some residents have tried to call out the city for allowing some families to decorate freely, while others are being forced to follow the rules.
The city first updated the rulebook back in 2014, that’s when the city council voted to grandfather in a few families in to decorate with less restrictions on the condition they maintain the site themselves.
"I think because people at that time were upset because they had been able to do what they pleased... so anybody that came in that wanted a separate maintenance agreement could,” says Cemetery Manager, Susan Trevor.
Now that that option is no longer available for other families, Trevor says part of the challenge has been notifying those with plots prior to 2014 of the decoration restrictions.
Once a keepsake is taken off a plot area, landscapers save it until it can be picked up. Crews hope to collect all of the prohibited items within the next few weeks.
Here are a few examples of items prohibited at the Monmouth Cemetery