UPDATE: North Carolina Cemetery Commission plans to take over a cemetery in Farmville

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FARMVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Help is on the way for families unhappy with conditions at a cemetery in Farmville. The North Carolina Cemetery Commission plans to take over the facility.

9 On Your Side has been covering this story for a year.

This decision comes after the cemetery owner, Timothy Watson, failed to pay off a $9 thousand dollar debt to the Commission.

At a recent meeting, the Commission voted to seek receivership of the cemetery. They plan to take Watson to court in Pitt County where a judge will rule on who will have ownership.

Members of the Commission wrote to us in a statement saying:

“Commission members believe they have, to no avail, exhausted all other means of resolution.”

Gantt Stephens, NCCC

Family members say they are ready for change.

“Hopefully we will see the cemetery get back to the way it was 15 years ago,” said Mervin Taylor of Farmville.

Taylor was one of the first community members to bring the issues at Crestlawn to our attention.

“As you know, we have been trying to get this improved and it hadn’t,” he said. “We are very excited, now we have a voice, someone to speak to.”

“My heart breaks not only for me but for other who are buried out here,” said another concerned customer, Betty Joyner Prescott. “I appreciate Channel 9’s attention to this, and if it wasn’t for Mr. Taylor and Channel 9 we would not be here today praising the Lord for what you all have done.”

If the Commission wins in court, someone qualified will be appointed to manage the day-to-day affairs at Crestlawn.

We tried reaching out to the cemetery for a comment but have not heard back.

We will continue to report new details and developments on this story as we get it.

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