Yesterday, the Knox County Commission approved adding a cremation fee for residents. Yesterday’s approval means the fee will be up for a vote at the Commission’s meeting on the 16th.
The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that if it’s passed, the new $25 cremation fee would help pay for medical examiner operations, one of which is approving cremations. The medical examiner also helps law enforcement and courts in murder and wrongful death investigations.
County officials are waiting to see whether they’ll get funding from next fiscal year’s state budget to help run the medical examiner’s office.
County Mayor Tim Burchett has asked Governor Bill Haslam for $5 million in state funding for the creation of a regional forensics center. In September, officials at the University of Tennessee Medical Center said the County medical examiner’s office would need to move out by the end of 2014.
Yesterday, the Commission approved agreements with UT Medical Center and University Pathologists to continue providing autopsy services until the county is able to open a new office.