TOPEKA (KSNT) – An unusual vote for Shawnee County Commissioners took place on Monday morning. On a 3-0 decision, commissioners voted to increase the price paid for cremations.
This impacts bodies that go unclaimed in the county. For the last 15 years, the price for cremation has remained stagnant at $350. Now, they’ll pay $475 for those over 375 pounds.
“We have seen an increase in the number of unclaimed individuals in this county, it’s nationwide actually. It’s not unique to Shawnee county, but about 20% of our unclaimed individuals are larger individuals, they’re over 375 pounds,” Coroner Services Director Sharon Parks-Mandel said.
The higher cost is necessary, due to the increase labor and time staff have to dedicate to take care of the bodies.