Toccoa Looking to Update Cemetery Records

The city of Toccoa is looking at options to better manage records for its city cemetery.

Monday, city commissioners met with Faith Bryan of the Georgia Mountains Regional Commission about the cemetery.

Toccoa City Clerk Fredda Wheeler said that the city needs to get a better handle on its records for the city cemetery, which date all the way back to 1895.

She said the records are scattered through various books of record, which makes it hard to go through quickly and sometimes results in incomplete information.

“If anybody calls in looking for somebody that is buried out there, I have to go through all of these books and as a last resort, I just meet with the family out at the cemetery and ask them to tell me where they might be buried and work back from there,” said Wheeler.

Wheeler also said there are areas where cemetery lots were sold previously and now a road has developed, for example, as a need to update and modernize the records.

She said she feels the cemetery needs to be re-mapped and the records updated and organized to make operations easier.

Bryan said that the GMRC could come in and do a full GPS inventory of the cemetery, tie it into the existing records, and computerize everything for the city to help simplify those records.

“The end result is you are going to have a fully searchable database tied with photos,” said Bryan. “You are going to have updated, printed maps. You will be identify the lots for future sales.”

That option would cost the city about $66,400 and would also record the condition of each grave at the cemetery.

Bryan also said the city could choose a more scaled down proposal that would only convert the existing maps onto computer at a cost of $8,900.

City commissioners expressed an interest in the first option.

Toccoa Mayor Gail Fry said she feels it is a project the city needs to move forward on.

“It has become more and more of an issue,” said Fry.

Toccoa City Manager Billy Morse said there is money included in the proposed budget for the next fiscal year to help pay for this project.

As a result, the city is looking at moving forward on this sometime after the start of the new fiscal year on July 1.