Plots to be added to Magnolia Cemetery

Published 2:22 pm Tuesday, December 1, 2015

It’s been more than a decade since burial plots were available at Greenville’s Magnolia Cemetery.

That will soon change.

A drainage problem on South Street and Highway 10 West has often left a portion of Magnolia Cemetery flooded, which has meant the city has been unable to utilize the space for burial plots.

A new drainage system, and an estimated $300,000, may soon allow the city to divide that portion of the cemetery into burial plots, which will then be sold to help offset the costs of the repairs to the drainage system.

The city has hired Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood to survey the land and determine exactly how many plots will be available.

Greenville Mayor Dexter McLendon estimates that 200 to 250 plots will be created.

“The estimated cost will be $1,800. That’s not set in stone, but that’s what we’re thinking it will be,” he said. “I think the people that really want to be in Magnolia Cemetery will pay that, and it will help us offset the costs of these repairs.”

The problem stems from the pipe that is not large enough to handle the amount of water that runs downhill from Fort Dale Road, according to McLendon.

“On South Street we had a road cave in,” he said. “It’s been blocked off for several months. The problem is when you fix it, it’s going to be more water to come through there because you’ve got to put a bigger pipe in there.

“There’s a big pipe underneath the highway that the state has, and it’s big enough. But the problem is when the water gets underneath that pipe and gets into the pipe over at the cemetery, it’s all fell in. It’s been that way for 15 years. That’s the reason we have a portion of the cemetery that we can’t sell lots in.  It floods.”

McLendon said once a large pipe is installed along South Street, the flooding will stop, which will also make traveling on Highway 10 safer during heavy rains.

“We don’t have any choice, but to do this,” he said. “Once we open up South Street, it’s going to be more water. When you don’t do that, Highway 10 is overcome with water, and that’s the only way to the hospital. I know of at least four times in 15 years that road has been closed off because when you get a lot of rain at one time. It’s a problem that we’ve got to fix.”

McLendon said he hopes to have the project completed by October of 2016. At that point the burial plots will go on sale.