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CEMETERY PLOTS DRY UP AS CITY CREW DWINDLES

Until the Salt Lake City Parks Department gets some dependable people to work in the Salt Lake City Cemetery, it might be a good idea for those with relatives buried there to maintain their own plots.

Lawrence Wunderly, a yard supervisor who supervises crews in the city's north-side parks, including the cemetery, said the reason the cemetery is so dry is the lack of dependable people to turn on the water.For example, out of a crew of 35 that works in the cemetery, eight of the workers, mostly students, didn't show up Monday and didn't bother to call, six called and said they wouldn't be to work, two were fired and one quit. That's about 50 percent of the crew.

With so few people to do the work, watering is "a hit and miss situation," said Wunderly. He said that with the temperature about 100, the ideal situation is to water the 180-acre cemetery every second day. In addition to the watering, the crews must mow the lawns and also maintain the sprinkling system.

Wunderly said the city pays summer workers the minimum wage of $3.85 per hour, and many young people don't like that figure because of the hard work in the boiling sun.

Several people were in the cemetery Sunday with their own hoses trying to keep the graves of their relatives wet so the grass won't die. Even the weeds are showing signs of dying from lack of water.

Wunderly said he has a standing order with the city personnel people for replacements for parks and cemetery workers.