People With Interred Loved Ones Concerned About Mausoleum ConditionPosted: Updated:
An Ogdensburg mausoleum seized by the state faces big challenges now and that's worrying people who have loved ones there and the officials now in charge.
Everyone agrees the Foxwood Memorial Park mausoleum needs repair.
Ceilings are cracked and water stained, doors are sheathed in plastic, and temperatures inside approach 80 degrees some days.
Gloria Gebo, whose late husband Earl was interred there four years ago, couldn't believe what she saw recently.
"You put your loved ones in here and because it was suppose to be maintained and you just don't like to see it fall apart," she said. "And I'm sure there's a lot of people concerned about it.”
The state seized the mausoleum more than two years ago from its private owner, alleging it was heading for a financial cliff.
The town of Oswegatchie, under state law, was forced to take ownership.
Town officials say they have a plan for fixing it. They want to build a crematorium to earn income to help pay for repairs.
Also, they are in the process of applying for a state grant.
“We're doing everything we can to make sure the taxpayers aren't stuck with the bills," town Supervisor Alfred “Bud” Nichols said. "That's why we want to get the crematorium going so that hopefully we'll keep it self-sufficient after that.”
Crypts for bodies at Foxwood are full, but there are more than 1,000 niches open for cremated remains.
That's why officials think a crematorium there could provide income.
Town officials are asking for people with loved ones there to be patient while they try to get things in order.
“Everything that's happening in there now, we inherited," Nichols said. "It was there when we got it two years ago.”
But for now those assurances do little to help people like Gebo, or her daughter, or the good friend who first told her about the damage.
They wonder about the future of Foxwood and what might become of it.
Town officials say they have the same worries as they move forward with plans to rescue the final resting place of so many.