Meeting Tonight to Discuss Cell Tower at Greenwood Cemetery

Greenwood Cemetery (WHAV News photograph)

Greenwood Cemetery. (WHAV News photograph)

The city Appeals Board meets tonight, April 18, at 7 p.m., in City Council Chambers at City Hall, room 202, to discuss whether to allow a cell phone tower to be erected at Greenwood Cemetery on East Broadway.

Lifelong Haverhill resident Shirley Rutherford said that since her family is buried in that cemetery, she was surprised to receive no notification from the city about the potential construction.

“I have an investment in that cemetery, let’s put it that way. I have my ex-husband, my mother and my father and my two brothers… my uncle just bought a grave down there for when something happens to him.”

A random Facebook post made Rutherford suspicious about the plans for the cemetery, which is managed by trustee Judith Kimball, so she went to city hall for answers, which is how she became aware of this meeting. She’s concerned that other families with loved ones in the cemetery may also not be aware of the proposed plans.

“I’m not into the politics scene, my concern is my family members that are there and my friends. I have friends that are buried there… and even the baby graves that are in the back row.”

Rutherford says there have been ongoing problems with the cemetery for several years with poor maintenance and confusion about plot locations.

“I take a ride down there at least once a week just to make sure my family’s graves are ok,” she said.

Rutherford plans to attend tonight’s meeting, which is open to the public, and urges others with a stake in the cemetery to do the same.

“I think they were just gonna put it in, and this is just my opinion but I think after they got it in, too bad, it’s up, you know?”

Kimball previously told WHAV finances are tight at the more than 230-year-old cemetery.