The Town of Deer Lake has approved a crematorium for Parsons Funeral Home on Main Street.
The application was approved by town council at its public meeting last week.
The funeral home is owned by Coun. David Parsons, who had applied to council for the expansion of his business prior to the municipal election in September.
Parsons was exempted from any discussion or voting on the issue by council after declaring he would be in a conflict of interest to do so.
There was one dissenting vote among the six town councillors who decided on the crematorium issue. Coun. Mike Goosney said he felt he never had enough information about emissions to give his support.
The approval comes on the heels of the City of Corner Brook recently declining an application for a crematorium in the city because of concerns over emissions in the proposed location, which included nearby residences. There was also some recent concern raised about emissions from the crematorium located in Stephenville by residents living near that facility.
Parsons Funeral Home is located near residences, schools and other businesses, but Mayor Dean Ball said the town did its due diligence before voting to approve the permit.
“For us to turn it down we would have to have had a good reason to do so and we did not have one,” said Ball.
The mayor said the town researched the issue and the particular unit Parsons Funeral Home is proposing to use.
Newfoundland and Labrador does not have emission standards that are specific to crematoriums, but Ball said every indication was that the emissions from the crematorium unit would easily meet all the existing standards in the province.
The funeral home is already in a zone designated as commercial, so no rezoning was required to permit the crematorium.
Ball said council understands the sensitive nature of the topic, but believes they made the right decision.
“Today’s technology has all the checks and balances needed and we don’t think there is any reason for anyone to be alarmed,” he said.