BENTON -- Scott County now has a place to bury its indigent dead.
On June 19, the city of Morley donated a plot in the New Morley Cemetery, Public Administrator Pam Dirnberger said during the regular County Commission meeting Tuesday.
Dirnberger said indigent deaths in the county is an issue she had discussed recently with County Coroner Scott Amick.
In cases handled by the public administrator or coroner in which a county resident dies without any money or family, "the county is responsible for disposing of that body," Dirnberger said.
"It doesn't happen that often, but it does happen," Presiding Commissioner Jamie Burger said.
To keep costs down, the county's policy has been to cremate the body.
"But then we don't have anywhere to dispose of the cremains," Dirnberger said. "Now the city of Morley has donated a plot for us to bury the cremains of public administrator and coroner cases. One plot will accommodate up to 40 people, so it's going to last a long time."
Up until now, indigent cremains had been just left at the funeral home, Dirnberger said, "and then there's no record of that person ever existing."
Dirnberger said, for example, there are remains of an indigent they have been holding on to since December "with no place to put her."
Now in addition to having a plot to put the cremains, "the county is purchasing a small granite marker for each that we put there, so that we will have a record," Dirnberger said. "It has always bothered me that when we have someone who has no funds and no relatives to claim the body that we have nowhere to bury the remains. Now if somebody comes looking for their long-lost uncle, then they can find him."
Commissioner Ron McCormick said he would attend Morley's city council meeting "to recognize what they've done that for Scott County and to thank them for Pam and Scott and the County Commission."
McCormick and Dirnberger noted that Chaffee and Scott City each have a paupers' area to bury indigents from those cities.
"Anybody from anywhere else in the county can go to Morley," McCormick said.
Dirnberger said the cost of burial will be low as cremains just need an 18-
"I'm very thankful to the city of Morley for donating that," Dirnberger said.
In other Scott County news, commissioners met with Salcedo residents interested in becoming part of the Scott County Public Water Supply District No. 1 at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Clinton Building in Sikeston.
"We're trying to get that all resolved," Burger said.