Friday, August 31, 2001

Cremation defeat to cost Hamilton




By Steve Kemme
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — City Council's rejection of a cremation ordinance means the city might pay twice as much to bury its indigents.

        But some City Council members say the additional cost is worth it to avoid an action some consider unfair, and to avoid offending people who object to cremation.

        To save money and cemetery space, City Council considered an ordinance requiring that indigents be cremated instead of buried.

        A cremation would cost the city about $600, while a burial costs about $1,500.

        Council rejected the cremation ordinance Wednesday by a 4-3 vote.

        Council members who vot ed against the ordinance said it was unfair to indigents, and they said they feared lawsuits from relatives of indigents who might surface after the cremations occurred.

        “This is just another way our low-income people are being treated as second-class citizens,” Councilwoman Katherine Becker said at the council meeting.

        She and Councilmen George McNally, Donald Ryan and Archie Johnson voted against the ordinance, while Mayor Adolf Olivas, Vice Mayor Thomas Nye and Councilwoman Sharon Hughes voted for it.

        “I don't consider cremation to be a disrespectful means of disposal,” Mr. Olivas said.

        If City Council had ap proved the ordinance, the city would have been the first community in the Tristate and one of a few in Ohio to have law requiring indigents to be cremated.

        Hamilton considered this ordinance because on July 1, Ohio stopped reimbursing counties for the burial of indigents who qualified for public assistance.

        As a result of the state's action, Hamilton officials said they expected the city to have to pay for as many as 40 indigent burials a year. The city has been paying for about 12.

        City Manager Steve Sorrell says the city will run out of cemetery space for indigents soon.

       



Teen convicted of riot attack on trucker
Officer Roach's trial Sept. 17
City services at risk in contract dispute
Murray: Get more involved in racial healing
Anguished mother determined to find son's killer
Art museum aims for attendance record
Labor Day closings
Luken the money leader, by far
WELLS: Strong, silent mayor system
Meeting on Genesis money trail canceled
Monzel would limit abortion coverage
Thirsty suburbs endanger aquifer
Bar fight fatal
Blind rafters savor river
- Cremation defeat to cost Hamilton
Enjoy the outdoors at free concerts
Family reunion a kick start
Gift phones expand kids' access to cops
Kings, Mason friends and foes
Music extravaganza combines fund-raiser, summer farewell
Neo-Nazi robber to stay in prison
Tax hike waiting its turn
Aquarium official leaves
Arrests break up drug ring, police say
Boone Co. park has momentum
Helping hands for veterans in N.Ky.
Rabbit Hash bash to include Goofy wake
Blood may test claim of slayings
College's computers had less child porn than thought
Voucher defense team criticized