The much debated topic of privatizing Oak Ridge Cemetery seems to be dead for now. Cemetery Director Michael Lelys told the Springfield City Council Tuesday the board that oversees the second most-visited cemetery in the country is open to ideas on how to save money for the city.
“Let me say we are not opposed to any ideas, from the public, you as alderman, the administation. I’m not smart about this business; I’m smart about managing” says Lelys.
Lelys says hiring a salesperson to market the property may be the way to go. He also says the figure being floated about how much that the city subsidizes operations is not accurate. He says while the city has alloted $400,000 dollars to help operate and maintain the second most visited cemetery in the country this year, he has spent only half that. Among other dignitaries, much of Abraham Lincoln’s family is buried on the north-side grounds. Mayor Mike Houston concedes there is little support from the city council to pursue privitazation.