A controversial cemetery owner, already hit with a $1,000 fine, now faces a January date to show real progress on plans to clean up his operation.
William "Curtis" Work was fined $1,000 by Associate Judge Ralph Mendelsohn earlier this month after being found guilty of four violations of the Madison County Property Maintenance Code. He also was given 18 months of court supervision, during which time he must comply with all laws and ordinances dealing with his operation of Woodland Hill Cemetery in Wood River Township.
Work lives at the site, 370 Sixth St., in unincorporated East Alton.
The county's Planning and Development Department took Work to court for violation of litter and sanitation codes as part of a nearly yearlong effort to address complaints by the public. Among concerns have been trash left open at the site, grave dirt not properly spread, damaged headstones and people worried about whether their cemetery plot deeds will be honored.
The court action taken Dec. 9 only addressed trash, said Tom Hawkins, the assistant administrator of Planning and Development.
"The aesthetics such as grave dirt wouldn't be us (to enforce). We don't have a violation for that," he said. That issue is being addressed in what's called a Tier 2 audit now being conducted by a representative of the Illinois Comptroller's Office, which oversees many aspects of cemetery operations, including determining if maintenance funds are being properly spent.
A Tier 2 audit authorizes an outside review of all the cemetery's books.