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Bethany residents concerned about proposed crematory

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OKLAHOMA CITY — Residents are outraged at a proposed funeral home and crematory on North Council Rd. It would be just feet away from a neighborhood and right next door to a senior living center.

“If I knew a crematorium was going in there, I would have never bought a house here,” John Flynn said.

Mercer-Adams Funeral Service says it needs more room and a crematory, which would be built on the back side of the building.

“The cremation percentage has increased to the point where its economically feasible to have our own,” Gary Mercer said.

But a group of neighbors say they don’t want the smell of death floating in their backyard. They are also concerned about mercury being released into the air.

“If you have mercury amalgams in your mouth from dental work there will be mercury emissions, and many older people do,” Lucinda Ritchey said.

Residents also worry their property values could decrease. President of Mercer-Adams Funeral Service, Gary Mercer, says those are just fears.

“There’s no place here in the metro area that has a crematory nearby properties in the northwest quadrant of Oklahoma City that has been negatively impacted by a crematory,” Mercer said.

So we asked someone who currently lives near one. One woman says she was originally opposed to a crematory being built across the street from her in Edmond, but after it was built she says nothing changed, and there is no smell.

But that doesn’t change the minds of some Bethany residents.

“The entire community is against it, and we’re counting on our city council to protect us like they promised they would when we elected them,”  Kevin Davis said.

The Department of Environmental Quality says crematory emissions are not high enough for them to need a permit.

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