Cre­ma­to­rium project gets Plan­ning Board OK

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Ariél Zangla azangla@free­manon­line.com ArielAtFree­man on Twit­ter

The Wiltwyck Ru­ral Ceme­tery has the city ap­proval it needs to build a new cre­ma­to­rium on site, but it still needs the state's OK.

The Wiltwyck Ru­ral Ceme­tery has the city ap­proval it needs to build a new cre­ma­to­rium on site, but it still must get the go-ahead from the state.

The project was ap­proved Mon­day by the city Plan­ning Board.

David Ry­lance, sec­re­tary of the board of trustees of the Wiltwyck Ru­ral Ceme­tery, said Fri­day that city ap­proval was only the first step. The pro­posal must still go to the state De­part­ment of State Divi­sion of Ceme­ter­ies, he said. Ry­lance added, though, that all the con­struc­tion per­mits and fi­nanc­ing must be in place be­fore the project goes to the state for fi­nal ap­proval.

“There’s a lot of things we need to do to get that far,” Ry­lance said. “At any point along the way, this could go off the rails.” The state has given the ceme­tery en­cour­age­ment to un­der­take the project, but the state will not pay for the work, he said.

Ry­lance also said the ceme­tery needs to build the new cre­ma­to­rium be­cause the cur­rent fa­cil­ity is out­dated.

Ar­chi­tect Scott Dut­ton said the new cre­ma­to­rium would be a 2,100-square­foot build­ing con­structed on land al­ready owned by the ceme­tery. The build­ing would be con­structed to look like a non-de­nom­i­na­tional chapel nes­tled in the woods, he added. It would be closer to West O’Reilly Street, ad­ja­cent to the ex­ist­ing mau­soleum, Dut­ton said.

The new con­struc­tion would re­place an ex­ist­ing cre­ma­to­rium that is ap­prox­i­mately 30 years old, ac­cord­ing to Dut­ton. He said the ceme­tery, whose main en­trance is on Pine Grove Av­enue, is seek­ing to mod­ern­ize its equip­ment and cre­ate a dif­fer­ent at­mos­phere. Dut­ton added that ad­her­ents of some re­li­gions ob­serve the re­mains be­ing placed in the cham­ber where the cre­ma­tion oc­curs.

“This new fa­cil­ity has an of­fice, a view­ing room and a dis­creet way for the hearses to bring the re­mains into the fa­cil­ity,” Dut­ton said. He said the old fa­cil­ity would be used for stor­age.

PRO­VIDED An ar­chi­tect’s ren­der­ing of the cre­ma­to­rium pro­posed by the Wiltwyck Ru­ral Ceme­tery.

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