Hillsboro approves plans for a new crematory

The Hillsboro City Council opened the business portion of the Tuesday, Aug. 18 meeting hearing from Jared Jost of Jost Funeral Home.

Jost Funeral Home has applied for a zoning change from its current R-2 (Two-

Family Dwelling) zoning to C-2 (General Business District) to allow for the installation of a

crematory facility to be installed in the existing garage on the property. The Planning

Commission held a public hearing on July 30, 2020 with no public speaking against the project,” said City Administrator Matt Stiles.

Jost provided information and answered questions regarding the proposed crematory.

He explained that crematories are tightly regulated by the Kansas State Board of Mortuary Arts and are regularly inspected randomly multiple times per year.

A crematory facility is relatively small and does not produce any unpleasant smells or sounds. Many crematory facilities in other communities are operated in similar residential neighborhoods with no problems. There are currently 41 licensed crematories in the state the closest being in Salina or Hutchinson. The dimensions of the crematory unit are approximately 9′ x 12′ x 8′ and will fit in the existing garage on the property.

Jost has run a crematory facility in the past and has indicated that the requests for the service

have led to this decision.

Not just anyone can run one. You have to be licensed by the state and go through rigorous training,” explained Jost.

The Planning Commission, as part of approving this zoning change, recommended that the City Council consider amending the R-2 zoning to allow for funeral homes and crematories.

Currently the zoning code allows for funeral homes and crematories in conjunction with a

cemetery in lower zoning use categories such as R-S and A-L with a conditional use permit. If

the council were to amend the R-2 zoning, Jost has indicated a willingness to zone the property back to R-2.

The council approved it.

Jost stated he hoped to have it up and running in around six months.

Jost thanked Ben Steketee, Anthony Roy and the Planning and Zoning Committee for their assistance in the process.

Mayor Lou Thurston said. “Well it’s definitely something that is becoming more prevalent and controlling the process from that standpoint of it being all kept here, I still will feel more comfortable about it for when you cook me down.”

The council also approved Resolution 2020-07 for KPERS 457 which is an optional retirement program that city employees can voluntarily participate in. The plan is a tax advantaged and open KPERS members plan. Contributions can be automatically deducted from employee’s paychecks and requires no contribution from the city.

Stiles told the council that the fiber project is moving along much faster than originally hoped for.

The pre-construction meeting was scheduled for next week but was moved to Sept 9. Despite some delays caused by the Army Corps of Engineers, TCT was able to move forward. The project build is estimated at 5.5 months. They hope to be completed with the Hillsboro deployment by April, if the weather cooperates,” said Stiles. “It’s really gonna be a game change for the community, and we want to thank Rep. Marshall and Senator Moran for their help with stepping in.”

Stiles said that unfortunately the KDOT projects are not on schedule. They notified the city that the project at US-56 and Industrial and the hospital trail project have been delayed. The contractor has asked for the project to be moved due to scheduling issues. Construction would be in mid-November or possibly early spring depending on weather.

In other business, the council:

  •  approved and adopted proposed overtime language and allowed for it to be updated in the employee handbook
  •  approved the closure of streets in the downtown area for the September 12 community movie night put together by the Hillsboro Chamber and the CVB board
  •  approved the payment of several bills
  •  received the 2019 audit report from Danielle Hollingshead of Adams Brown Beran & Ball
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