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Former cemetery employee thinks money problems led to poor upkeep

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As concerns continue about the upkeep at a Wisconsin Rapids cemetery, a former employee said she believes money problems contributed to  groundskeeping issues there.

Marlene Hack worked at Calvary Cemetery for six years. She said upkeep went downhill when Father James Altman took over back in 2010.

While the Diocese of La Crosse hasn’t gotten back to us regarding details of Altman’s tenure, Hack said there was at least $30,000 in a fund for cemetery upkeep when we took over, but soon they sound themselves in debt.

"In my personal opinion, they shouldn’t have been in debt," she said. "We have plenty of money in that fund. Whatever happened to that fund I have no idea."

On Friday, people could be seen mowing the cemetery lawn and cutting the tall grass. 

Father Altman was transferred to another parish last year. Hack said she doesn’t blame the current priest of Saints Peter and Paul Catholic for the current issue. 

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