Avoca town ponders Hammond’s request

Angela Sutfin

After a crematorium was shut down for use without a permit, local veterinarian Dr. Guy Hammond is looking to the Avoca town board for permission to start again.

“Dr. Hammond has had an incinerator for about four years and he’s buying a new one, but in the mean time he had never had any permits to operate one,” said Gilbert Partridge, chairman of the Avoca Planning Board.

Because Hammond operated the crematorium without a permit, it was shut down with the Department of Environmental Conservation investigating the matter.

Hammond is looking to reopen with a new incinerator. The DEC must first issue a new permit for the crematorium and final approval for a permit is up to the town planning board in Avoca.

“(The incinerator) will be a brand new unit as I’m understanding it and it’s supposed to be all DEC approved,” Partridge said.

“Sometimes the process is held up for a month while we gather more information, but from the date that we have the hearing there’s a 45-day span there that we have to answer all our questions and make recommendations,” said Partridge.

The decision regarding permit issuance could be anytime within the 45-day allowance.

“We try not to hold people up if there’s any way at all that we can get these permits issued,” Partridge said.  

Partridge also noted “everything has to go by the book,” meaning the board will not issue a permit for the crematorium if there are any legitimate reasons against it.