KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – The closure of a Klamath Falls cemetery has the community up in arms. Now, local leaders are holding a meeting to discuss the next steps for the shuttered Eternal Hills and Memorial Gardens cemetery.
The Oregon Mortuary and Cemeteries Board revoked Eternal Hills’ license in March of last year following complaints about service costs, failure to meet industry standards, and accusations of mishandling of remains.
Former Director Bob Gordon says the closure is due to the freezing of an $800,000 care fund. “Ran out of money,” explained Gordon. “Been a lot of thefts, and we no longer can afford the insurance.”
The gates of Eternal Hills and Memorial Gardens were closed. It was a move some plot owners thought was wrong, as it appeared they were being denied access to their property.
On September 13, the State of Oregon filed an involuntary bankruptcy against Eternal Hills Memorial Gardens and Funeral Homes, Inc.
On December 4, representatives of the state will be hosting a public town hall meeting to discuss the pending bankruptcy and current issues related to Eternal Hills and Memorial Gardens. However, they won’t be able to discuss questions about certain contracts.
The meeting will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. in Room 219 at the Klamath County Government Center located at 305 Main Street in Klamath Falls. Representatives slated to appear at the town hall include Klamath County District Attorney Eve Costello, Klamath County Commissioner Derrick DeGroot, Carolyn Wade with the Oregon Department of Justice, Brenda Biggs with the Oregon Mortuary and Cemetery Board and Ann Marie Garber with the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation.
According to the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, the state is working to ensure the cemetery grounds are maintained and access is available to the public.
In addition to the December 4 town hall, a meeting of bankruptcy creditors will be held on December 5 at the Klamath County Courthouse at 10:30 a.m. The meeting will be open to the public.
People with questions, comments or complaints about Eternal Hills can call the Oregon Mortuary and Cemetery Board at 971-673-1500 or visit http://www.oregon.gov/mortcem
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