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Incoming board pledges restoration for New Forest Cemetery

Posted 8/9/22

A new six-member Board of Trustees has been established to takeover and restore New Forest Cemetery.

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Incoming board pledges restoration for New Forest Cemetery

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UTICA — A new six-member Board of Trustees has been established to takeover and restore New Forest Cemetery.

Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon, D-119, Marcy, has spearheaded efforts with local officials and concerned residents to move forward with a plan to tackle the problems surrounding the cemetery.

Officials say the cemetery, at 2001 Oneida St., has been subjected to significant financial difficulties and dilapidated conditions due to the negligence of the former board of trustees.

On Aug. 5, a special lot owners meeting for the cemetery was held at the State Office Building in downtown Utica. Staff from the New York State Division of Cemeteries facilitated the meeting alongside Buttenschon and were able to elect a new board for the cemetery.

The new trustees of New Forest Cemetery are Shawn Lancaster, Kathy Hughes, Jeremy Hayes, Sabrina Brown-Engram, Michele Hart, and Freddie Hamilton.

“The new trustees are putting together a comprehensive plan to bring the cemetery back to its former beauty,” Buttenschon said. “These volunteers have the intent to provide the respect and dignity of all that are laid to rest at New Forest Cemetery that they deserve and I thank them all.”

Lancaster, who now serves as the board president, will provide a working plan on how to move forward with restoring the cemetery in the upcoming months.

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