PROSSER — A historic cemetery south of Benton City would become restricted to the public if Benton County officials agree to post it off-limits from dusk to dawn.
Commissioner Shon Small suggested the county approve an ordinance that would have the remote cemetery treated the same as county parks, which also are posted as being closed to the public at night.
Small said during Tuesday’s county commissioner meeting in Prosser that county residents whose relatives are buried in the cemetery have complained about vandalism that included knocking down and stealing headstones.
He said sheriff’s deputies have done extra patrols and even caught people at the cemetery at night who had no good reason for being there.
The visitors were told to leave, Small said.
The rural cemetery is the county’s responsibility and the county should do something to protect it, Small said.
Commissioners Jim Beaver and Leo Bowman said they would be willing to review an ordinance at a future meeting.
Also Tuesday, commissioners agreed to give county engineer Malcolm Bowie a 5 percent increase in pay because of extra duties in being Franklin County’s interim professional engineer and director of public works.
Small asked for the pay increase, noting that the responsibilities of being Public Works director for Franklin County are more than expected.
Small said the pay increase of about $400 to $450 a month, will be covered by reimbursement from Franklin County.
-- John Trumbo: 509-582-1529; email@example.com