American Heart Assoc.

Cemetery controversy puts Farmersville on world stage

by | Aug 13, 2015 | Latest

By Wyndi Veigel

News Editor

[email protected]

Whether it’s the Associated Press, Reuters, the Dallas Morning News or even sites such as Yahoo News or Facebook, the city of Farmersville has been thrust onto an international stage.

The topic: the possibility of a Muslim-owned cemetery outside the city limits of Farmersville. The proposed cemetery will be located at CR 557 and Hwy. 380 between AA Landscaping and Home Grown Plants.

The topic was most recently brought to light at a Town Hall Meeting Aug. 4 where a panel of city representatives including City Manager Ben White, Mayor Joe Helmberger, City Attorney Alan Lathrom and Islamic Association of Collin County Scholar Khalil Abdur-Rashid answered questions put forth by audience members.

Hundreds attended the standing-room only meeting at the Farmersville High School.

The first question asked, via cards from the audience that were read anonymously was “What is the Muslim burial process and will there be seepage?”

According to Abdur-Rashid, the Islamic Association of Collin County currently buries their deceased at Restland Cemetery in Richardson. Their practices within that cemetery include the deceased body being washed with warm water at a funeral home by a state licensed funeral director, he said. Then the body is shrouded, placed into a wooden coffin and then into a concrete vault and buried in the ground in conjunction with Texas state law.

Abdur-Rashid said the IACC plans to follow the same procedure within the property of the proposed cemetery outside Farmersville.

Many have expressed concerns about their burial practices contaminating Lake Lavon, a statement that some see as ridiculous.

According to Helmberger, the North Texas Municipal Water District has been made aware of the proposed cemetery and have no concerns with the cemetery property proximity to the lake.

“They’re going to bury their dead like I bury my dead,” Helmberger said during the town hall meeting.

Another point brought up by the citizens was to ask Abdur-Rashid if anyone could be buried in the proposed cemetery, regardless if they were of the Muslim faith or not.

“We would not say no,” Abdur-Rashid said, regarding if anyone could be buried in the cemetery.

Though there was much opposition to the proposed cemetery, not everyone who voiced their opinions was in opposition.

Kathy Snyder, who lives near the proposed cemetery property, stated relief at the cemetery going in. Snyder and her husband had been watching the property for many years and were fearful, she said, of a large box store moving in. Now, Snyder said, they would have a beautiful, peaceful cemetery to look at.

“We’re pleased there’s a cemetery going in, and we’d be proud to have you,” she said.

Overall, the city was pleased with the way the town hall meeting went on Aug. 4.

“We were pretty pleased that we got a lot of good feedback,” White said. “We got a lot of the same information but we were able to have a dialogue.”

White said the IACC was also able to see the conflict in person between the townspeople and the proposed cemetery project.

At presstime, it is unknown if the IACC will be moving forward with the project. No preliminary plat has been submitted to the city.

The only steps the city is able to take regarding the proposed cemetery is the concept plan, which was approved in May by the Planning and Zoning Commission and the preliminary plat and the final plat. Both plats have to go through P & Z and city council to be approved.

According to Helmberger, the city has ‘absolutely zero’ say regarding land use for the proposed cemetery property.

 

 

American Heart Assoc.

0 Comments

Related News

SB 4 targets human traffickers

SB 4 targets human traffickers

A new state law has significantly increased punishment for human traffickers. Senate Bill 4 was approved by the state Legislature during the third special session in October 2023 and signed by Gov. Greg Abbott in December. The new law, which went into effect Feb. 6,...

read more
New president wants to help businesses achieve goals

New president wants to help businesses achieve goals

A new year often brings new leadership and that is the case for the Farmersville Chamber of Commerce. In early February, the chamber elected its 2024 board of directors. And leading the charge as president is Roy Homfeld, co-founder and owner of Tracy’s Custom Homes,...

read more
City budget amended for capital projects

City budget amended for capital projects

During last week’s city council meeting, City Manager Ben White explained the need to amend the current year’s city budget, primarily for capital improvements. At the Feb. 13 regular meeting, White described the budget amendment of $145,000 as “a little larger than...

read more
City council election filings close Friday

City council election filings close Friday

With a couple of days left before the filing deadline, so far voters in Farmersville city limits have a contested mayoral race to decide on May 5. With the mayoral seat and Place 4 up for election, applications submitted as of Tuesday show the mayoral election will be...

read more
Chocolate Walk: sweet success

Chocolate Walk: sweet success

This past weekend’s unexpected showers didn’t put a damper on the early Valentine’s Day celebrations in downtown Farmersville. The annual Chocolate Walk on Saturday, Feb. 10, invited the community to indulge in shopping, fudgy treats and contests. For more on this...

read more
Adding polling places has challenges

Adding polling places has challenges

Collin County voters may have new locations to cast ballots in November’s elections. But that’s not necessarily a good thing. A requirement for large counties to add polling places was an unintended consequence of a new law passed last year by the Texas Legislature,...

read more
Growth continuing at McKinney National Airport

Growth continuing at McKinney National Airport

Although voters rejected a $200 million bond proposal that would have allowed commercial airlines to serve McKinney National Airport, the facility continues to grow. More than 58% of McKinney voters rejected the plan in last May’s bond election. The proposal would...

read more
Girl killed in multi-vehicle bridge crash

Girl killed in multi-vehicle bridge crash

A chain reaction accident on the East Lucas Road bridge claimed the life of a young Farmersville girl riding in a car driven by her mother, the Department of Public Safety said. Nine high school students on a Princeton ISD bus involved in the crash were unharmed,...

read more
Subscribe 300x250 - Love