National News

Graves in danger of being washed away at church

Posted July 31, 2018 1:27 p.m. EDT

— Tree roots dangling from washed away earth under century-old trees is the sight behind the historic Old Bonhomme Church.

"We lost about five to eight feet of the bank, as a result of the erosion," said John Green.

Green says the church noticed the erosion has gotten worse in the last three years.

Before, loss of vegetation was the only worry. Now the concern is the loss of gravesites. The edge of the bank sits less than 10 feet from the first row of graves.

Green says the church reached out to at least five public agencies to get help.

"And all of them said 'you basically have a problem and there's nothing we can do to help you out with it," said Green.

The Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) said they could step in to fix the problem but they lack the funding.

News 4 found MSD is reviewing their Storm Water Capital Rate Proposal.

If passed, the average annual charge for homeowners will increase to $27, generating $30 million in revenue. The money would fix erosion issues that are unfunded like the Bonhomme Cemetery.

All public and private property will be subject to this rate increase.

MSD has identified 500 stormwater areas that need fixing.

It'll be up to voters to pass the proposed rate increase.

MSD anticipates it'll be on the ballot by April 2019.