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News covering policy and issues related to city and county governments in the Ozarks.

Should Springfield City Council fund maintenance for historic Black cemetery?

Monica Horton
Gregory Holman
Monica Horton, right, speaks to Springfield City Council on April 13, 2022 as she was interviewing to be appointed as Zone 1 Council representative.

City leaders are considering how to spend more than $31 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act.

Springfield Zone 1 Councilwoman Monica Horton shared a suggestion Monday night with her fellow City Council members.

She said a $100,000 request for maintenance at Lincoln Memorial Cemetery in northeast Springfield was worth funding alongside 14 other projects recommended for money from the federal American Rescue Plan Act. Horton said it was the only request coming from a majority-minority source.

“This organization’s project is transformational as it seeks to enhance dignity in death. And the requested $100,000 ARPA application would provide relief — as members of the African American community have some of the highest infection rates and death rates from COVID-19,” Horton said.

Horton said 103-year-old cemetery needs a new entrance, pavements and other fixtures.

Lincoln Cemetery
Lincoln Memorial Cemetery Facebook/Used with permission
Lincoln Memorial Cemetery is one of the sites on the Springfield-Greene County African American Heritage Trail.

Lincoln Memorial Cemetery is part of the Springfield-Greene County African-American Heritage Trail and serves as the burial site for former City Councilman Denny Whayne and other members of the Black community.

City Council votes July 25 on two ordinances related to the federal Rescue Plan money.

Gregory Holman is a KSMU reporter and editor focusing on public affairs and investigations.