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Board questions bid process for cremations

Ogle County Board members questioned the bidding process last week for county-funded cremations.

Board member Bruce McKinney, Rochelle, asked March 19 why the bidding proposal submitted by Coroner Louis Finch for indigent cremation services was limited to only Ogle County funeral homes.

"I hate to see Ogle County businesses lose money," he said, suggesting that the bidding should be opened to any funeral home.

However, board member Lee Meyers, Byron, said that in the past the county board has favored awarding contracts to businesses located within the county when at all possible.

Finch, who owns and operates a funeral home and crematory with his family in Mt. Morris, had requested bidding the cremations for indigent persons on an annual basis rather than an individual basis. The board approved the measure.

Finch said that last year the county paid for five or six cremations for deceased individuals without the means to pay.

Board member Pat Saunders, Polo, asked how many crematories are in Ogle County.

Finch said his family's is the only one. However, he said, several are located in surrounding counties.

"Just because an Ogle County funeral home gets the bid doesn't mean they will use my facility," he said Tuesday.

Board member Dick Petrizzo, Davis Junction, suggested that all bids should go to the county clerk to be opened at the same time.

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