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Proposed crematorium location causes concerns

Some neighbors in eastern Kentucky are concerned about a proposed crematorium.
Some neighbors in eastern Kentucky are concerned about a proposed crematorium.(wsaz)
Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 5:45 PM EDT
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FLATWOODS, Ky. (WSAZ) - The topic of funeral arrangements and final plans for a loved one can become a tough, sensitive and delicate topic for family members.

In one community, it’s the plans of a local business owner to open a crematorium in Eastern Kentucky that has some feeling uneasy.

“It’s safety and health, I’m not opposed to crematoriums, I’m opposed to the location of it,” said Jackie Perry.

She’s been a resident of Greenup County her entire life. Her family owns a plot of farmland a quarter mile from the site of a proposed crematorium. She says she heard about the plans from another neighbor who posted online about a public zoning notice they received.

“We have our garden, that feeds our family,” she said. “So, we want to keep all of our facilities clean in our local community”

Due to rising burial costs, cremation is growing in popularity. For Perry, she’d prefer to see the crematorium built outside of residential neighborhoods.

“I would like to know their plans and what safety features they’re going to put in place,” she said. “I did message Bailey’s Funeral Home to ask what type of equipment they planned on purchasing for the crematorium but right after that they next day they posted that they are not affiliated with it at all. "

More than 100 people signed an online petition opposing the plan. Currently there is only a crematorium in nearby Boyd County. The mayor of Flatwoods, Ron Fields, says he’d like to see jobs brought to the area but didn’t think the proposed spot was the right fit.

Owner of the proposed crematorium, Andrea Bailey tells WSAZ the site located along Bellefonte Road is no longer being offered to them as a possible location. She says the crematory would service multiple funeral homes in the area and would not be open to the public, so there would be no concerns about parking or increased traffic.

For Perry, she’d like for the public to be able to add input on any future cremation facility location.

“I’m willing to work with everyone involved as long as we can find a resolution that is helpful to the community and to their business,” she said.

WSAZ also reached out to the Director of Planning & Zoning as well as the zoning officer to get more information about a planned meeting scheduled for next month, but we have not heard back.

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