AUBURN — A national crematory company is negotiating a lease with the city to build at the front of Riverside Drive’s Oak Hill Cemetery.

Roland Miller, Auburn’s director of economic development, said he is negotiating a lease with the company and hopes to have a draft in front of city councilors in about a month.

“I can’t say everything that’s a part of this,” Miller said. “I don’t have a floor layout or plans. I can’t say what it’s all going to be and I don’t want to start speculating. It’s very premature.”

He presented the idea to city councilors on Monday.

“We are in a very sensitive place in the negotiations right now,” Miller said. “I needed to get the authorization from the council to continue these discussions because I am spending time on this, and I have to make sure it’s something the council wants to pursue.”

Miller declined Thursday to name the company.

“The company is anxious to move forward with their planning — that’s something that I can say,” Miller said.

Miller said the city plans to lease the land for the crematory to the company for 20 to 30 years. The building would go up at the cemetery’s entrance along Riverside Drive.

“This is an area that’s not designated for graves,” Miller told councilors Monday. “We are transferring all responsibility to make sure there are no unmarked resting places. To our knowledge, there are not. Plus, we will transfer the responsibility to them of improving the entry road and the access roads for other folks that use the cemetery.”

Miller said there were two buildings on the site years ago, maintenance sheds for the cemetery. Miller told city councilors that he expects the building will have parking.

“There are occasions when folks would come sometimes to the facility,” Miller said. “They may have a comfortable seating area, but we have not seen a layout of the facility.”

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City negotiating to bring crematorium to Oak Hill Cemetery

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