Niagara Gazette

Local News

February 8, 2013

Amigone's future in Tonawanda remains unclear

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Although that area of the town is closer to the industrial zone, the crematory would still be surrounded by homes, Sheridan Park and families. Residents who live nearby spoke out against the potential move. 

“It’s not solving the problem, it’s moving the problem,” Bob Parker, of Two Mile Creek Road, which backs up to Cooper, said in October at a town board meeting.

But the cemetery board, in a decision issued Sept. 27, ruled that Amigone could not move its crematory, and over two months later, Amigone announced it was scrapping its moving plans. 

In the decision, the board explains that combined funeral entities and crematories were prohibited in a decision in 1998, but that through a grandfathering exception, Amigone was allowed to continue operating its combined facility on Sheridan Drive. 

"This provision only permits the funeral entity to continue to operate the same crematory it was operating before that date," the board states. 

As a result, the board said that under the law, there is "no authority for moving a crematory operation to a new location." 

"Any crematory operator — even a regular cemetery — that wishes to move its crematory would have to apply to operate a new crematory at the new location," the decision reads. 

But Amigone is pushing along with its attempt to move the crematory and is challenging the decision in Erie County Supreme Court. Motion arguments for the set for the end of this month before Judge John A. Michalek. Robert Knoer, of The Knoer Group, is representing Amigone, but did not return repeated phone calls to comment on the case.

"Our members are encouraged that there still might be a chance they are moving," Rebecca Newberry, of the Clean Air Coalition said. "But we don't want the crematory to be relocated to a residential neighborhood." 

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