In response to interest in cremation rather than traditional funeral services, a new facility has opened in Fulton County.
Owned by Scott and Todd Grisier and Tom Miller, the Cremation Center at 419 West Elm St. in Wauseon is the first such business to operate in the county, Mr. Miller said.
Mr. Miller and the Grisiers decided to open the center because "cremation is becoming so much more popular. It's increasing in popularity each year." In addition, the center, which recently opened, will allow the Grisiers Funeral Homes to use its own facility for cremations rather than contract for that service in Lucas County, for example, Mr. Miller said.
Grisiers Funeral Homes owns funeral homes in Delta, Wauseon, Archbold, and Stryker. "They bought my business out in 2002. We came together and decided to build a crematorium. We also do work for other funeral directors," Mr. Miller said. He formerly operated Miller Funeral Home in Delta.
The Cremation Center, which was set up in an existing building, is in an area of the city zoned for light industrial purposes, Mr. Miller said. Licensed through the Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors, the Cremation Center must comply with strict Ohio EPA regulations, he said. There are no odors wafting from the center or any billowing smoke, he said, but the process produces some noise. The machine, he explained, operates at such a high temperature that "it does not allow for odors or smoke."
A fairly large stack is on the building to vent out the heat that is generated - 1,600 degrees and above, Mr. Miller said.
The increasing popularity of cremations is due in part to the cost, he said. Many variables impact the cost for cremation and burial services, but a traditional funeral today can cost $6,000, compared to $1,170 for cremation.
Other reasons for the higher interest in cremation include "just society in general. You can cremate today and have a memorial service three weeks later. You can have a memorial service in a home or a park. It gives more flexibility," he said, adding that more and more people are interested in keeping relatives' cremains with them as they move from location to location, such as with job transfers.