State reviewing proposed plan to improve Sunset Memorial Gardens - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

State reviewing proposed plan to improve Sunset Memorial Gardens

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A state inspector will be back at out at a Cleveland cemetery and mausoleum Monday after the owner, Georgia-based Cecil Lawrence LLC, turned in a preliminary report earlier this week outlining repairs.

It’s unclear how long it will take the Tennessee Department of Insurance and Commerce to issue a report in response to both the submitted proposed plan as well as more than 200 complaints from families of deceased loved ones at the cemetery at detailing poor conditions at Sunset Memorial Gardens.

Cemetery staff were recently trained on how to prepare a crypt chamber for entombment – including locating and opening the vent and drain in the crypt -- as well as sealing a casket, according to a proposed plan.

That’s a new practice for the cemetery.

“There are mausoleums that have been built in the late 1950's and the newer building was built in the 1990's,” writes David Yearsley, founder and CEO of Pennsylvania-based Ensure-A-Seal, in a proposed plan. “Entombments have been made in these buildings without any type of casket protection for over 60 years.”

The preliminary report goes on to propose replacing plastic shutters, daily and weekly monitoring program for the mausoleums and a third party inspector examining and correcting seals around the plastic shutters of each occupied crypt chamber.

An official with Ensure-A-Seal noted last week that no leaking body fluids or odors of decomposing bodies were detected.

A timeline to put the plan into action is expected to be outlined in a final report issued by the company. The state has a copy of that report and is evaluating it. A copy was not released on Friday.

Stay with Channel 3 for more on this developing story.

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