Private cemetery, indigent remains among commission considerations

ARDMORE – The Carter County Commission on Monday gave preliminary approval to an application for a private cemetery and to cremate the unclaimed remains of a Carter County resident.

Commissioner Berry Lee-Brinkman said the application for a private cemetery will still have to undergo publication and its own hearing. State law puts few restrictions in place regarding private cemeteries but still requires county commissions to consider the necessity and health impacts of a cemetery1.

The commission has considered private cemetery applications in 20192 and again in 20213.

The commission also approved to cremate the remains of a Carter County indigent, the second such action taken this year. Funeral director Zane Gray was in attendance and asked commissioners about the process for handling the unclaimed remains of those who have died.

“For as long as I’ve been commissioner — seven years — best I know, I think Harvey-Douglass has done them,” said commission president Bill Baker.

Commissioner Joe David McReynolds said he believes other funeral homes have received indigent remains in the past but was unsure how they are selected or by whom. Baker said the county pays $1,500 to cremate the remains.

The board will reconvene on Thursday, March 14 at 9 a.m. for a special meeting to approve monthly appropriations and consider quotes for heat/air units at the county administration building.

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  1. 8 OK Stat § 183 – ↩︎
  2. 26 August 2019 Regular Meeting – ↩︎
  3. 12 April 2021 Regular Meeting – ↩︎