NORRIDGEWOCK — Selectmen are planning to visit the Oxbow Cemetery in order to make a decision on how to best care for the cemetery, where the expansion of a nearby cornfield has reduced the width of the path to the point where public works crews cannot drive to the cemetery to maintain it.

“Before we can make a decision on whether a town crew can walk in, we need to see it,” said Ron Frederic, chairman of the board of selectmen, during a meeting Wednesday.

According to state law, municipalities are required to maintain cemeteries such as the Oxbow Cemetery on Sandy River Road that date to before 1880, and special care is required to be taken around the graves of veterans.

Jim Hilton, a farmer and former selectman who owns the property around the cemetery, has said that he doesn’t mind public works crews walking to the cemetery, located about one-quarter mile from the road, but he doesn’t want them driving through the field and damaging the corn as he says they have done in the past.

Because the corn is planted very close to the edge of the field, which borders a wooded area near the Sandy River, and the path is full of brambles and tall grass, it would be difficult if not impossible for crews to access the cemetery, according to the town manager.

The conflict has raised questions over how to care for the town-owned cemetery, which was part of a community restoration effort in 2011 but has since become overrun with tall grass.

“Because there are veterans there, I feel we should make an extra effort to clean it up,” said Selectwoman Sallie Wilder.

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]

Twitter: @rachel_ohm

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