Crematorium gets support at public hearing
The Arkansas State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors held a public hearing at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 25, at the Manila Community Center to hear concerns and support for Tri-City LLC who applied for a permit to construct a crematorium at 1691 W. Highway 18 near Manila.
Terry Woodard, president of the board, welcomed the approximately 15 citizens present to the hearing requesting anyone that was going to speak sign their name and say their name for the court reporter before doing so. He explained anytime someone files for a permit for a crematorium a public hearing has to be held, notice of the hearing has to be published in the local newspaper and anyone living or owning a business within 200 feet of the proposed crematorium has to be notified. With all those criteria being met and no opposition to the proposed crematorium present, the board heard supporters comments.
Susan Robertson, who plans to open Tri-City LLC, said she was first met with opposition about the project but then found a location out in Mississippi County that has gas as well as water and no one located within 200 feet. She said the steel and wood structure would be about 50x40 feet. Robertson explained she would not be serving the public, her customers would be funeral homes. She would transport from funeral homes to the crematorium. Since Robertson would be serving funeral homes and not the public she does not have to be or have to have a funeral director as part of her business.
"I own several acres of land that will be in the surrounding area of this," Jeremy Gamble said. "I've known Mrs. Robertson for a long time and I think this is going to be a great asset to the community."
Others agreed saying a new business for Manila is important and Robertson is a good person that will do a great job.
With no opposition the public hearing was adjourned about 15 minutes after it started. The board granted the permit Thursday, June 26.