Rose Hill Residents Protest Against Crematorium Plans

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Updated: Tue, 19 Nov 2013 03:11:54 EST

Residents of a Warner Robins neighborhood filled a public meeting last night to speak out against the possible construction of a crematorium in their area.

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Before Monday's City Council meeting, Warner Robins City Hall was surrounded by protesters from the Rose Hill Subdivision. They're concerned about the construction of the Burpee-Scott Memorial Chapel on Highway 41, mainly because the funeral home would include a crematorium.

Rose Hill residents say their chief concern is the possibility of mercury being put out into the atmosphere by the crematorium.

"In my case their smoke stack would be about 100 feet from where my BBQ grill is," said Charley Toole, one of those against the proposal.

Toole and about 100 other Rose Hill residents poured into city hall for a discussion on the proposed crematorium and the legality of its zoning.

At that meeting, Monica Wilburn, an attorney for Burpee-Scott, countered protesters' concerns with some statistics.

"Approximately in Georgia, there are 65,000 deaths every year," she said. "They would have to cremate 60,000 people in that crematorium to get one sugar cube of mercury."

After much discussion, Mayor Chuck Shaheen told the neighbors that zoning for the crematorium was correctly filed and legal, so there's not much the city can do to stop its construction.

However City Attorney James Elliot plans to check on a similar case in another state before Shaheen makes his final statement on the situation.

Meanwhile, Rose Hill residents plan to continue to protest the crematorium's construction..

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