A PG&E crew gets set to install a new power pole next to the remains of the Chester Cemetery office. The Dixie Fire completely surrounded the cemetery and destroyed all the out-buildings, yet left the cemetery grounds and trees virtually untouched. File photo by Gregg Scott

Residents want Chester Cemetery to reopen as burials await

By Gregg Scott

Plumas News Staff Writer


The October 14 meeting of the Chester Cemetery District board meeting was graced with almost 20 community members in attendance to express concerns and offer suggestions to the board members as they work toward reopening the cemetery for interments. With 11 families awaiting the reopening at last count, this issue has become an important issue within the community.

There seems to be some division amongst the members as to how soon they can safely reopen the facility. More than one member has voiced concerns about personal liability that may be incurred and some have even stated a desire to ensure a 100 percent safe site before moving forward. Others express a desire to reopen as soon as the Plumas County Health Department and California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) say it’s OK.


Even before the meeting officially began, Board Member and Chairperson Tammy Hensel submitted her letter of resignation to the board due to what she termed as rude and disrespectful comments made to her at the previous special board meeting by another board member. It seems the comments were made in regard to her attempts to fill the role as interim cemetery manager and the closing of the cemetery road. This event means there is once again an opening on the board that needs to be filled. Anyone interested in applying for the position should contact the cemetery office at (530) 258-3878.

On the positive side, the board accepted the application of Chester resident David Price to fill the position of Interim Manager until the board makes reviews and decides on a permanent General Manager on Dec. 1. There are currently three individuals in the application process. Price’s first project will be the purchase of an office computer and other electronic equipment to bring the new office space up to full working capability. He will also be working with Rob Herr of Mindbank Computers to retrieve the backup data for the computer lost in the Dixie Fire.

As the old saying goes, “So much to do and so little time to do it” — that’s the general idea of what the board and new interim manager are faced with.  The next scheduled cemetery board meeting is  at 9 a.m. on Nov. 11 at the Chester Civic Center (Courtroom). All are welcome.