Oooooh, cremation: It's so terrible. How can you possibly shake hands with St. Peter at the heavenly gates if you're a pile of ashes?
Harris County is running out of cemetery space to bury indigent people. So they should switch to cremation, right? You can pack a lot of ashes into a storage unit.
Instead the county is forking over $340,000 to buy 50 acres of land for dead people whose survivors demand a burial.
Harris County adopted a "cremation first" policy a couple of months ago, but still lets families request a burial. And unidentified remains have to be buried as opposed to cremated, by law.
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So that means the 20-acre Oates Road Cemetery, which has 13,000 bodies in it and room for 400 more, will be sold out, so to speak, in three to five years.
"With the cemetery quickly filling up and land values the lowest they've been in decades, we see this as a good time to provide a long-term solution for the indigent burial program, said David Turkel, the county's director of community services. "We can do this without putting any additional burden on the County's budget by using federal community development block grant funding."
FIfty acres should buy a lot of time before the next purchase is necessary, absent a zombie attack in the poor parts of town.
But sooner or later, people are going to have to stop burying their dead, or drive a long, long way to do it.