Crematory Sparks More Controversy
Residents expected to speak against Jardine's proposal
Over the weekend, resident Calogero DiRienzo sent an email to a number of Strongsville residents, urging them to call Mayor Tom Perciak's office to object to the idea.
"There are numerous health concerns that outweigh any possible
benefit for allowing this crematorium to be constructed," DiRienzo wrote in the email.
The message has led to an email debate among residents.
George Grozan, a Hunting Meadows resident and a member of the school district's Facilities Task Force, responded by saying he intends to speak against the idea at the Planning Commission meeting this Thursday.
Grozan said he researched the equipment the funeral home plans to buy and found that the company offers a filtration system -- but Jardine's isn't purchasing it.
"They (the manufacturer) already know that this system allows mercury and other heavy metals to escape via the flue gas. That is why they offer a filtration device to remove it," Grozan wrote.
"All that we ask is that it be built in a industrial park setting or install the scrubbers to ensure that there are not ANY chances of contamination to the children and residents of Strongsville," agreed resident David Pate.
Tina Marietta argued the other side.
"Don't you think that since the Jardine family lives, not only in this city but in the neighborhood, they would want to make sure everything is safe?" she wrote. "Do you think the Jardine family is so money hungry they would risk the health and safety of their friends and neighbors as well as their OWN children?"
Ward 4 Councilman Scott Maloney said the city's Building and Engineering departments are researching the issue and will have a report Thursday night.
"The city would not pursue a project that would put residents in harm's way," Maloney wrote in an email.
Earlier this month, the Planning Commission tabled requests for a conditional use permit and site plan approval for the property at 15822 Pearl Rd. so the members could do more research on the potential effects of a crematory on the environment.
Some residents have raised concerns about crematories emiting hazardous amounts of mercury into the air.
The mercury comes from fillings in people's teeth, and it's not a new issue -- funeral homes across the country have faced fights to build crematories in recent years.
No residents spoke against the project at the July 12 meeting, while eight people spoke in favor.
Jason Jardine said the equipment he is buying is a state-of-the-art machine that is designed to run in neighborhoods and emit no smoke or smell. Nearby Wendy's and Burger King produce more emissions into the air, he said.
The equipment would be used only for Jardine clients and could not be rented by other funeral homes.
Jardine said having on-site cremation equipment would ease worries of many distraught families who would now be able to keep their loved ones close to home.
He also said cremation is becoming a more common choice, with about 40 percent of people opting for it.
The Planning Commission meeting starts at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 26 in City Council Chambers.