A Personal Viewpoint – An Open Letter to the Fairview Board of Trustees

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As a resident of Middletown for over 32 years, I can tell you this is my home, not just a place to live, but a real community. My neighborhood, Colts Glen, is located directly across from Fairview Cemetery property. I can tell you that they were always viewed at by me as part of this community. I drive by that cemetery everyday. My parents have purchased plots to be buried there. It is more like a peaceful park where people from the community go to be forever after they pass on, still connected in someway to this home.

It was because of this peaceful (albeit, naive) outlook on my town and neighborhood and surrounding businesses that I (along with many others) were really unaware of the threat of Fairview’s Board of Trustee’s ambitions to expand into a crematorium, with their permit for a burn time of approximately 4100 hours per year (If you do the math you will realize that is almost 12 hours per day – ALOT and would exceed the number of deaths in our immediate community by a large percentage.) The unit they are installing is an incineration unit with two chambers, and according to manufacturer specs can process and burn approximately 10 bodies per day. This crematorium they are proposing would be built directly across the street from our homes and where our children wait for the school bus, in direct vicinity of homes and nature preserves where children go to play and do research on school trips, and soccer fields where soccer teams and a lot of families and children come to do their sport.

Fairview’s push for a crematorium does not benefit our community in any way. A factory of this sort belongs in an industrial area and certainly not this close to homes and children. Middletown and my neighborhood in particular is a place for families. There are pregnant women, young children, and a vibrant wonderful neighborhood where we have block parties, Christmas parties, and we play kickball in the streets. I always have said I live in the best neighborhood and that my kids still ride bikes and love that they do “old school” play. That is what Colts Glen, our neighborhood, is like. I will stand up and fight for the home I love and for the investment my parents made back in 1983. The home that my father and mother worked every day to pay for. I feel blessed that now I get to raise my children in this wonderful neighborhood and in the same home my father slaved for. Unfortunately, now, to only have it threatened.

As members of the same community, I question why the board of trustees for the Fairview Cemetery has been pursuing this dream of theirs for over 10 years, with public records showing application with the state dating back to 2009. It is only now just coming to the attention of those would be affected by it most. I pray for my children’s sake and for the families of our communities that this issue is not passed as it should never even be zoned for a residential area such as ours in the first place. Where are the laws to protect us? I am mad to even have to fight this after we just fought a won a huge battle with RAGE and power lines. A community is supposed to stick together — shame on you Fairview Cemetery for proposing this plan in your community, the same community you are from – I ask — no, i beg you —  to please reconsider and stand with us not against us. 

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Fairview Cemetery, located in Middletown, NJ, wants to build a two-chamber crematorium in the middle of the Oak Hill/Colts Glen residential developments.