Woman questions town's use of cemetery trust fund

Bettie Lee McAllister of Timmonsville is questioning how funds allocated to the upkeep of the Byrd Cemetery are being used.

Bettie Lee McAllister of Timmonsville wants to know how the town is using a trust fund earmarked for the upkeep of Byrd Cemetery.

McAllister has dozens of relatives buried at the historic grave site.

It also contains the graves of former local and state officials and confederate soldiers.

McAllister and her family are upset about how the cemetery looks.

"It makes me mad to know that when family comes down here to bury their loved ones and they have to drive into those gates that look rundown," McAllister said. "It's a shame that this many people that are from the town and influence of the town, they have to let the graves grow up like it is."

Timmonsville owns the cemetery and has the Laurie Anderson trust fund in place to maintain it.

McAllister doesn't believe town officials are properly spending the money for the upkeep of the cemetery.

She asked us to look into the matter.

NewsChannel 15 asked town officials how much money they're spending from the trust fund to clean the cemetery.

Town Administrator Mary Bines said there's about $39,212 in the fund.

She said due to the rules of the fund, they're allotted to spend roughly $2,656 a year on the cemetery.

Bines said that's not nearly enough money.

It cost nearly $600 a year to put three trash cans on the property, according to Bines.

She said the town has to use money from its general operating fund to help maintain Byrd Cemetery and money is tight in Timmonsville.

Bettie McAllister is convinced the town can do more to take better care of the cemetery.

She said she's asked all of the council members to come take a look at the cemetery, but only one has done so in three years.