HUMBOLDT — A public session about a proposed crematorium quickly got off its planned agenda after a group of attendees asked to change the format.
The original plan of the Sept. 12 meeting was to have it set up as a come-and-go session where people would talk about the Malinoski and Danyluik Funeral Home’s plan to add a crematorium in a series of small groups.
That quickly changed to a format where attendees, addressing the entire room, asked questions of city council, as well as proponents Connie Danyluik and Gloria Malinoski.
Fifty-four residents attended the session.
Much of the concerns expressed at the meeting were in connection to the emissions the crematorium could expel into the air. The system that the funeral home is proposing does meet Environment Canada’s standards.
“We voted you in. You’re supposed to be protecting us,” said one attendee.
“I’m not against cremation – I want to get cremated myself – but I don’t understand why you don’t take it outside the city.”
Another attendee asked the city to move the crematorium to a different location.
“If the city is so intent on having this, maybe the city can offer you guys, as a goodwill gesture, a parcel of land in an industrial area for a dollar.”
A third attendee said they wanted the crematorium located in a rural area southeast of the city.
There were also letters of support for the proposal.
“I know what it is like to suffer the loss of a loved one and I personally believe that the sooner the funeral can be held, the better,” one letter said.
“If we had a crematorium here, it would make it quicker and easier for grieving families.”
Currently, when Malinoski and Danyluik performs a cremation, they have to travel to Melfort.
Another letter writer said they were glad to see the funeral home interested in investing in the community.
“Given the present level of investment within the city, I find it hard to believe that we would even think twice about giving this a stamp of approval and follow that up with a huge thank you.”
After 30 minutes, Joe Day, the city’s administrator, stepped in to return the session to its originally planned format.
There were forms at the meeting that attendees could fill out, which will be placed into city councillors’ packages when they consider the proposal at a council meeting on Sept. 23.
Rob Muench, Humboldt’s mayor, said this is a decision that council is not taking lightly.
“This was a really good evening to hear from the residents and people that were both opposed and in favor of the project that Malinoski and Danyluik are doing in the community.”
The mayor said council has a few options when it comes to making a decision.
“We can approve it, we can approve it with changes or recommendations, or we can deny it.”
Council could also choose to delay a decision again if they feel they need more information.
Danyluik said the future of the proposal rests in the hands of city council.
“We've done what we needed by presenting the information to the community and to the council members,” she said, adding it’s up to them to look at all of the information that’s been presented to them and then make a decision on what they feel is best for the community.
Council can choose to approve the project with stipulations. Danyluik said unless council presents them with such a proposal, it would be hard to say what would be a deal breaker for the funeral home.
“It really depends what council comes back to us with and then we would have to evaluate what they're proposing and go from there.”