Orange Mound residents fighting proposed crematorium

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It was a packed public meeting at Mount Gilliam Baptist Church in Orange Mound on Monday night as neighbors fought to stop a proposed crematorium from being built in the area.

The crematorium's owner, Anastasia Davis, calls her proposal safe.

"Each cremation machine is equipped with an electrical pollution system that's monitored on site," she said. "My mother lives in this neighborhood. I would never invest in a business that would harm my family."

But neighbors said they don't want a business that cremates bodies for burial in their backyard.

"There is strong scientific evidence that crematoriums produce dangerous pollutants," said City Councilwoman Jamita Swearengen, who represents the area.

For a moment, many in the crowd thought their worries were over when Davis said she was moving the business from its proposed location at Park and Marechalneil.

But her alternate locations are still in the community, and that was still unacceptable to most who attended the meeting.

She said an investment would help develop the area ,but if Monday's meeting was any indication, public opinion is stacked against her.

Davis says she's going to ask the Board of Adjustments for an extension so she can choose a new location and resubmit her application.

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