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Thomaston crematorium moves forward

By Christine Simmonds | Nov 24, 2020
Photo by: Christine Simmonds The Thomaston Select Board meets over Zoom on Nov. 23.

Thomaston — After multiple years of effort by Michael Hall of Hall Funeral Homes, including a town vote in September and a historic recount shortly after, Thomaston will be signing the lease for a crematorium.

The Thomaston Select Board authorized Town Manager Kara George to sign the crematorium lease agreement with Midcoast Crematory, Inc. at their Nov. 23 meeting, held over Zoom.

The crematorium will be located on Anna Belle Lane.

Neighbors and abutting land owners to the crematorium have expressed concern for the health and safety of those living near the crematorium, as well as a reduction in property value.

Hall stated that all equipment being used meets and exceeds environmental standards, and all processes are odorless and smokeless. He said there would be no indication from the outside of the building when the process was occurring.

Hall has also pointed to the increased demand for cremation and a lack of local options for the process. By operating Midcoast Crematory Inc., Hall said customers’ loved ones will no longer have to leave the care of his business.

The warrant item to authorize the lease passed in September with a vote of 298 yes to 289 no. Multiple town officials said this was the largest voter turnout of any Town Meeting.

Following the Town Meeting, the group “Neighbors of the Thomaston Cemetery” requested a hand recount of the votes.

The recount was held Sept. 29, and confirmed the results of the ballot machine.

Town Clerk Melissa Stevens said the Maine Municipal Association informed her this was the first instance of a Maine town holding a recount for a referendum question.

In other business, Thomaston continues to work on their new website and will be creating an official town Facebook page as well.

George said the Facebook page will be like a bulletin board to keep citizens updated about upcoming events, meetings and such.

Because the town does not have staff to dedicate to monitoring public comment, George said the page will have public comments turned off, and residents could contact the Municipal Office with questions or comments.

The board approved the bid of $119,368.88 from Fire and Safety of New England Inc. to purchase 20 airpacks for the Thomaston Fire Department. This purchase, funded through the Dragon Cement TIF, was approved by voters at the September Town Meeting as well.

Fire Chief Mike Mazzeo was in attendance, and thanked the board for the approval.

Doug’s Seafood received approval for an on-premises license to sell malt liquor, beer and wine.

The board accepted the resignations of Jon Eaton, Ben Griffin, Diana Beach, Tiyana Wolf-Whitehead and Jessica Shepard from the Comprehensive Plan Committee, and the resignation of Mark Higgins as alternate School Board member for RSU #13.

The town of Thomaston will hold a traffic safety workshop Dec. 14 over Zoom at 5 p.m. followed by the next Select Board meeting at 6 p.m.

For an invitation to the workshop or the meeting, email George at kgeorge@thomastonmaine.gov.

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Comments (1)
Posted by: Jan Dearborn | Nov 25, 2020 14:19

I am weary of hearing that the crematorium will offer "local options"and "loved ones will not have to leave Hall's Funeral parlor". As I have stated in the past, this is not a concern a family takes into consideration when choosing a funeral home, it is disingenuous to continue to state this is a checklist item. Is Mr. Hall going to use this in local advertising? It infers that everyone in an abutting community doesn't have this elevated perk....they will have to send their loved ones "out of town"....well, aren't we just the most special town in all of Midcoast Maine. Folks there is good reason why we are so fortunate here in Thomaston, this is the only town that allowed Mr.Hall to build his crematorium. It is insulting to all the residents that have legitimate concerns regarding the impact on air quality, compounded by the fact that having a crematorium will not enhance property values.

Mr. Hall was successful in locating his crematorium and will pay a nominal fee to do so....a victory. It insults the intelligence of the residents of Thomaston to have  the sales pitch continue after the fact, the deal is done. Mr. Hall should provide any and all copies of future monitoring reports to illustrate his hypothesis that air quality will not be adversely impacted. Mr. Hall will be bringing everyone else's loved ones to Thomaston for cremation...there is no limit on how far he can market his new crematorium. To my knowledge, he is not limited in the use of the crematorium, this could be a 24 hour a day business and Mr. Hall's bottom line will increase proportionately. As Mr. Hall stated "there is an increased demand" and he is set to take full advantage of that increase.

 

 



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