Crematorium project gets Planning Board OK
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Rylance also said the cemetery needs to build the new crematorium because the current facility is outdated.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.