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Non-Profit to Dissolve, Asks City of Roanoke to Help Protect and Preserve Local Cemeteries

F V Cemetery Company, Inc, owner and operator of Fair View Cemetery and Cedar Lawn Memorial Park, has asked the Roanoke City Council to assume responsibility for two active and highly historic local cemeteries.
 
The F V Cemetery Company’s Board of Directors is aging and, in a few cases, is managing declining health. After more than 15 years of actively searching for a suitable private sector successor without success, the board has now begun a process laid out in their original Articles of Incorporation mandating that upon dissolution, the company shall turn over all assets to the City of Roanoke to take over the operations and management of these two properties, protecting significant historic local assets and area grave sites that date as far back as the War of 1812.
In 1876, the City Cemetery opened to serve the Town of Big Lick and later the City of Roanoke. Not long after, it was recognized the 3 Acre cemetery was running out of space. On February 14, 1890, a group of civic leaders who envisioned a need for better and more beautiful cemetery met together and pooled their resources to acquire a large tract of land just west of the city limits for the purpose of developing Fair View Cemetery to serve their rapidly growing community. Fair View Cemetery Company, Inc. was incorporated February 15, 1890, under the laws of the state of Virginia.
The cemetery and memorial park are the final resting places of more than 30,000 individuals including thousands of veterans, 10 mayors of Big Lick and the city of Roanoke, members of the U.S. Congress, the Virginia Legislature, and the U.S. Federal Judiciary, along with numerous individuals who succumbed to the devastating effects of both the 1918 Flu Pandemic and COVID-19.
Today, both Fair View Cemetery and Cedar Lawn Memorial Park are still active cemeteries, with enough space to continue serving the interment needs of the community for many more generations.
Accordingly, F V Cemetery Company has asked the City Council to hold a public hearing and then to vote to assume responsibility for both properties effective July 1, 2023, at the start of their next fiscal year.
Should the Roanoke City Council do so, the city would assume all assets, including more than $3M in Cash currently in the non-profit’s operational and perpetual care funds plus 71 acres of land, office building, maintenance facilities, and all equipment required to continue successfully managing the two cemeteries.
A date for the public hearing has not yet been announced but F V Cemetery Company Inc has created a website where interested citizens can go to learn more: www.thefairviewgroup.org/transition This website contains a fact sheet, frequently asked questions documentation, a list of other municipal cemeteries across the Commonwealth and more. There is also a form where interested parties can request to be updated as more information, including the date of proposed public hearing, becomes available.

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