By Sarah Lang The Lebanon Reporter
---- — Myers Mortuary will soon be offering cremation services on site.
The addition of a crematorium is something Funeral Director Matt Hunt said they have been thinking about for several years. They officially started the process last October and will be the only funeral home in Boone County to offer the service. “We want to provide the people in Lebanon and Boone County with all the different options,” said Hunt, who is also part owner of the funeral home. “We look at it as, we don’t want to have to go to Marion County for cremation, which is what all the funeral homes have to do now. We want to keep the business dollars in Lebanon.”The addition was also prompted by the fact that more and more people are selecting cremation. The percentage of people using cremation used to be in the single digits, Hunt said, but now more than 20 percent of funerals deal with cremation.
Hunt said the process began in October when they spoke with a crematorium manufacturer in Florida. They helped Myers with necessary environmental permits. But a crematorium puts out so few pollutants that it is even exempt from the Environmental Protection Agency, Hunt added.“We have had absolutely zero opposition to this,” Hunt said. “We sent out notices to all the neighbors, property owners, county commissioners, city officials, and everyone has been in favor.”A new building on Myers’ 3.5-acre site will be constructed to house the crematory. The cost of the addition is a “substantial investment,” Hunt said.
The crematory will be 8 feet tall, 11 feet long and 5.5 feet wide. It is steel on the outside and fire brick on the inside, Hunt said. The brick also makes up the smoke stack. It will be powered by natural gas.
Construction on the building will begin in the next couple of weeks, Hunt said, depending on the weather. The 20,000-pound crematory will be put into place by a crane. Often, crematories are pushed into an existing building. But since Myers’ crematory is going into new construction, Hunt said they will leave the roof open, place it in the building, and then build the roof around the smoke stack to create a tighter seal. He hopes to have the entire project complete in June.
Though the addition of a crematorium won’t change the cost to customers, and Myers has never had any issues with the cremation facility it uses in Marion County, Hunt said it’s just a good service to offer on site.“We’re doing this for our existing families we now serve,” Hunt said. “Instead of going to a third party, we will have total control. It’s just having that peace of mind, knowing we’re doing everything. If there’s ever a question, you’re already talking to the person who is handling it all.”