A large number of Elkton residents gathered yesterday at a City Council budget meeting to offer opinions on the re-awarding of a cemetery maintenance contract to a man charged with manufacturing methamphetamine. Only one was allowed to speak.
The council has chosen to stand by an April 8th decision to give the contract to Watson Ricchuite despite his indictment on meth-related charges April 21st.
However, out of the sixty who attended, only ten were critical of the council's action. Still, when residents stepped forward to offer their opinions, Mayor Nancy Camp told them they could only publicly discuss agenda items at a budget meeting. Only one resident had called ahead and was therefore allowed to speak.
Councilman Doug Gibson said most townspeople at the meeting stand by the council’s decision and believe Ricchuite does good work for the county.
“This cemetery is really important to Todd County, its four thousand tomb rocks out there but Ricchuite is in the business and he does a fantastic job of keeping it in shape," said Gibson. "And it keeps all the people off our backs who are grumbling about it because a lot of them out there are really serious about their cemetery they don’t want it growed up or weeds around it or limbs laying around on it.”
Ricchuite was arrested April 21st and charged with one count of manufacturing methamphetamine and one count of receiving stolen property after authorities found anhydrous ammonia on his farm. His case has yet to come to trial.
The Elkton city council did approve the proposed budget at the meeting.