Families Plan To Propose Changes To Roadside Memorial Ban

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PUEBLO, Colo. Some families find it hard to believe that their roadside memorial for their loved one will be taken down. In January, Pueblo City Council voted to ban all memorials within the city limits. That ordinance went into action a few weeks ago.

The city's ordinance says memorials can only be up for 45 days. After that, the city removes them and stores them until families can pick them up. They can only be put back up on the anniversary of the victim's death, again for up to 45 days. Families do have the option of purchasing a road sign, city bench or a plaque on a tree.

Some families feel like that's not enough.

"As far as the flowers and crosses, if people maintain them I don't think there should be any reason to remove that. For our family member's sake, that's our loved one, that's where our family member is," said Kiana Ceplo.

Ceplo helped set up a roadside memorial for her brother who died three months ago. She said her brother's memorial is very special.

"We didn't bury him, we cremated him, so his site is a place where people can go talk to him...because a piece of him, we feel, is still there," said Ceplo.

Recently, Ceplo's family was told the memorial may be taken down because of the city's ordinance that limits roadside memorials.

"We actually had my brother's friends dig up the cross that they cemented in and bring it back to our family's house," said Ceplo.

The Parks and Recreation Department says there are 20 memorials on city property. The department sent out letters to families to get them removed.

A Facebook page called "Restore Our Pueblo Roadside Memorials" was set up for families like the Ceplos who want to keep their memorials permanently in place. City Council President Sandy Daff told 11 News Friday that she's open to allowing more options for families.

A group presented some ideas to amend the city's ordinance on Monday.