Woodbury Township Cemetery relocation proposal draws criticism from locals

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SERGEANT BLUFF, Iowa (KCAU) — The Woodbury Township Cemetery board will soon vote on a plan to relocate the county’s older cemetery. The difficult decision follows a proposal by Brickworks, located in Sergeant Bluff.

Dozens of people from Sergeant Bluff attended Wednesday’s meeting at the Sergeant Bluff Historical Museum. Many have loved ones buried at the cemetery located inside the Brickworks campus.

The company has proposed a land swap with the cemetery board, allowing the graveyard to expand five-fold while also paying for the relocation. According to the cemetery board, the current hillside site is at capacity and difficult to navigate.

Family members like Bruce Johnson said they understand the problems but are not in favor of the plan.

“Our family would not want our loved ones exhumed and moved to another location. We felt that our families have said that this is where I wanted to be laid to rest and we should let them rest in peace.” says Bruce Johnson, Family buried at Township Cemetery,” Johnson said.

Brickworks is currently conducting an online survey of plot owners and next of kin. An expansion committee will eventually make a recommendation to the township board on whether to move forward with the company’s proposal.

“Tonight’s meeting, I think, was a good step in the right direction as far as answering questions and as you can see, a lot of that showed up are not in favor of this, and that’s okay with us. The committee’s supposed to take those comments back to the report that we’re going to prepare for the board, and the board has to consider all that,” said Joe Hanson, General Counsel with Brick Works North America.

A second town hall meeting is set for noon Thursday at the Sergeant Bluff museum.

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