VERNON (KFDX/KTL) — Some Vernon residents plan to discuss their concerns about a newly installed crematory at the next city commission meeting on July 28.
Longtime Vernon business Sullivan Funeral Home recently added a crematory to their property and some residents are worried about potential toxins that can be released from the establishment.
Sullivan Funeral Home is less than a mile away from Vernon middle school and the Boys and Girls club. The concern is that mercury released from the crematory can affect the residential neighborhood and the children near the funeral home.
“We are trying to put out the news so the city of Vernon will know. People don’t know,” Vernon resident Becky Pierson said.
Sullivan Funeral Home is the only funeral home in Vernon and has been around for decades. It’s the only funeral home that a lot of Vernon families have used. However, some residents are concerned about a new crematory there because of its location.
“Two blocks down is an elementary school. A block and a half over is the Boys and Girls Club. We have daycares down the street. And this is very unhealthy what comes out,” Pierson said.
“Why put this thing in the middle of town where the whole town is involved? You’re three blocks, four blocks from the courthouse. Downtown. I mean there’s just too many things. Won’t be us that are affected. Our children, grandchildren on down the line can affect them,” resident Hugh King said.
Crematoriums in the United States have been questioned for releasing mercury into the atmosphere. According to the Texas Funeral Service Commission, a crematory must be adjacent to a funeral establishment. Sullivan’s funeral director Robert Webb says the crematory has been cleared by the proper agencies and that mercury emission is minimal.
Vernon mayor Pam Gosline says because the crematory has been certified by the state, the city commission can take no action. But that won’t stop these residents from letting their voices be heard.
“There’s research to back everything that we’re saying. They know,” resident Jan King said. “You just don’t do this to your community. The community has backed him forever. And you’ve gotta treat people right.”
Looking out for the community and future generations has residents questioning the newly installed project at Sullivan Funeral Home.
Webb says he would be happy to talk with residents about their concerns but no one has contacted him.