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City crackdown on grave decorations angers relatives

CEDAR FALLS AP) — The removal of decorations and other commemorative items from graves at Cedar Falls’ three cemeteries has angered some relatives and other loved ones.

Several who went to visit the graves recently found that most of the missing items were placed along fence lines at the Fairview, Greenwood and Hillside cemeteries.

Mark Ripplinger is director of Cedar Falls’ municipal operations, and he says the city has had an ordinance for several years that prohibits decorations left on graves more than three days after Memorial Day. He says the items make it difficult to mow the properties.

Ripplinger says the city’s been lax about enforcing the ordinance, and staffers over the years would move the items and then put them back after mowing. But he says that practice is taking too much time away from the main job of mowing.

He acknowledged that the city could have done a better job of informing relatives about the ordinance and the city’s intentions.

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