The Madison County Commissioner’s Court amended its policy regarding indigent burials on Monday during its regular meeting.
After providing Madisonville Funeral Home with $500 for cremation of a body which had been unclaimed for several weeks, the county decided to update its policies.
County Judge C.E. McDaniel Jr. said he surveyed 11 counties about their indigent burial policy, and found that the amount the county would reimburse funeral homes varied from $500 to $1,500.
“I propose we increase our donation from $500 to $800,” he said.
McDaniel said that the section of the policy that requires the county to offer the body to the State Anatomical Board should be removed.
“We can offer it, but what we ran into the last time is we contacted the board and never got a response,” McDaniel said.
In a separate matter, county resident George Jester sought help from commissioners regarding the collapsed bridge on Strawther Road.
Jester said he owns land on both sides of the bridge, and to tend his cattle he would have to drive 1 ½ miles; however, since rains earlier this year caused the bridge to wash out, he was driving upwards of 24 miles a trip to feed his cattle.
“Maybe you can consider a low-water crossing, or some temporary crossing,” he said. “I own land on four sides. I’ll donate the land, let you do whatever you needed to do.
“That would probably aid in the actual construction of the bridge,” Jester said. “If you don’t have the money, I’ll loan you some money.”
Jester said there are quite a few county residents who are inconvenienced by the bridge being out, which won’t be helped by the months it will take before construction even starts.
McDaniel said the county appreciates that Jester is doing what he can to expedite the process.
“Thanks for offering to help us out,” he said.
Commissioner Sam Cole, whose district encompasses the bridge, discussed the matter further with Jester after the meeting.
He assures residents that he is working on replacing the bridge, but cautions that it will take time because of the governmental agencies involved.
Cole said he is awaiting word from either FEMA or the state to see if the county qualifies for assistance.
In other business, the county:
•proclaimed April 25 as Arbor Day;
•approved selling fireworks around Memorial Day;
•approved a lease for a new copier for the Juvenile Probation Office; and
•approved county maintenance of a public access road for a family with special needs children, provided that the request be reviewed annually.