Grafton may build for-profit crematorium

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By K.B. Sherman, Community Reporter

Grafton – At the Grafton Board of Selectmen’s April 7 meeting the board was encouraged to consider the possibility of having the town build a for-profit crematorium.

The proponent, Scott Browne, told the board that the town of Duxbury had built a crematorium 30 years ago that now brings in about $1 million in revenue to that town annually. Similarly, when the town of Plymouth built its own facility it drew business from the Duxbury operation, as such a facility draws most of its business from the surrounding area. After Browne’s brief presentation, Selectman Chair Brook Padgett asked Town Administrator Timothy McInerney to investigate the possibility of Grafton building such a facility.

Selectman Dennis Flynn opined that the town already had more items on the capital projects list than it could afford.

In a related issue, the selectmen reviewed the list of desired capital projects (capital projects being those that are basically long-term and not considered annual expenses). Of a list of 26 such projects, only the top 15 have potential funding. Flynn objected to the issue being discussed at the meeting without having first had the chance to review them. Selectman Bruce Spinney said that the town needs to create a long-term list of projects. Capital requests coming will include funding of $3.5 million in fiscal year (FY) 2017, $4 million in FY 2018, $4 million in FY 2019, and $16.9 million in F2020, which would include work on the library.

An increase in town beach fees was also discussed, with the admission that the snack bar at the beach actually loses money and that beach use and swimming lesson fees are substantially lower than those of surrounding towns. It was reported that the Grafton Recreation Commission had denied an increase in fees and perhaps the selectmen could over-ride that decision. After a discussion it was decided to leave fees unchanged for 2015 and revisit the issue for 2016.