Scriba cemetery official addresses concerns over crematorium proposal

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Scriba, N.Y. – The Riverside Cemetery on State Route 481 has been the subject of local concern because of a proposal to install a crematorium on its grounds.

“It’s something new and different,” said Chris Gagas, President of the Cemetery’s Board of Trustrees. “And I fully appreciate that. I would be over there myself if I was one of the neighbors, because I’d want to know.”

Gagas says that the concerns people have about the crematorium are largely unfounded; emissions, for example, are less of a problem than many people believe.

They did a study, and they found the mercury exuded from this type of facility was very low — ten times less than a children’s playground is permitted.

Gagas says the crematorium is an important development for the cemetery. With declining revenue from burials in the face of a rising demand for cremation, the cemetery needs a way to make ends meet.

“If we don’t put a crematorium in there, we won’t have any additional income,” Gagas said. “And with things the way they’re going, we estimate that within five years, we probably will have to give it up to the county.”

The installation of the crematorium has yet to be confirmed.

Erin Meyer contributed to this story.