Some city cemetery grave markers will be outfitted with strengthening rods |

Some city cemetery grave markers will be outfitted with strengthening rods

Park City officials have hired a firm to strengthen some of the grave markers at Park City Cemetery in an effort to prevent a tragedy like the one at Glenwood Cemetery last summer when a young boy died after one toppled onto him.

Salt Lake City-based Hans Monument Company was tapped to outfit some of the markers with strengthening rods called dowels. The company was scheduled to start the work on Tuesday. The strengthening rods will securely attach the standing part of the marker with the part that sits on the ground.

Ken Fisher, who manages recreation programs for City Hall and is heavily involved in policy making at the Park City Cemetery, said officials hired the firm to outfit five markers with the strengthening rods as a test. Each of the strengthening rods costs $100, and markers might require more than one of them each, Fisher said. City Hall is funding the work, but the ultimate price tag is not known.

"We want to try to limit the hazards. It’s all trying to mitigate the risk," he said.

The oldest of the markers that will be outfitted with strengthening rods dates to the late 1800s, he said.

City Hall put hazard tape around some of the markers that appeared to be in danger of falling — ones that are tall and loosely attached — after the death at Glenwood cemetery. Fisher said the hazard tape will be removed once the strengthening rods are installed.

Officials after the boy’s death canvassed the Park City Cemetery and found 80 markers that needed to be repaired in some fashion. Of those, 43 were deemed to be a hazard. They were placed on the ground on their side.

A 4-year-old boy from Lehi died in July from injuries he suffered when a grave marker toppled onto him at the Glenwood Cemetery. The group that oversees the Glenwood Cemetery closed the grounds for more than a month. The Glenwood Cemetery Association posted signs asking visitors to stay on footpaths and not touch the grave markers when it reopened.

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