Letter: Seeking Results of Town-Directed Survey of Maple Street Cemetery

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To the Editor:

We are writing to request the complete town-directed, state-supervised study M2 conducted on the Maple Street Cemetery.

Our understanding, from the State Archaeologist’s office, was that M2 was asked to present the findings to P&Z two weeks ago, but as of Monday morning that has not occurred. The report will be made public via the Dodd Archives at the University of Connecticut (where the Connecticut State Archaeologist’s office is located), but we are requesting the information sooner so it can be released to the public.

Our concerns are:

1) The argument has been made that M2 owns title to the portions of the Maple Street Cemetery because they believe certain plots never contained remains, which, in their opinion, would make this section of the cemetery, “not a cemetery”; and

2) Now that human remains have been found, M2’s argument seems to be that current laws do not apply because the human remains were interred before the laws were enacted.

However, Connecticut statutes state that (italics our own): Sec. 19a-295. (Formerly Sec. 19-146). Ownership and management of burial grounds. Town appropriations. Towns and ecclesiastical societies may procure and hold lands for burial grounds and provide a hearse and pall for the burial of the dead. Cemeteries may be acquired, owned and managed and controlled by such towns and ecclesiastical societies, and by cemetery associations heretofore incorporated or incorporated as provided in section 19a-296, and by no other persons, firms or corporations.

Lastly, in the 65 Conditions issued last month, #5 reads: “The approval of the locations of buildings A and B are contingent upon the verification that Parcel P is not a cemetery and there are no bodies interred on that parcel.”

Now that the three human remains were found interred on Parcel P, it would seem that Parcel P is, in fact, part of the original cemetery, and that no part of it can be “owned” by any entity other than the above listed.


Susan Serven & Jack Trifero

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