HENDERSON CO., Ky. (WFIE) - Henderson County Coroner Bruce Farmer is facing a challenge that he hasn’t had to deal with in almost 25 years in office. Farmer says he understands times are changing and this issue was inevitable.
As of January 30, local funeral homes will no longer transport bodies for the coroner’s office.
Farmer says they have a temporary solution with one of the local funeral homes, but they need to find a permanent fix.
The rising cost of transportation is what has forced the change.
Bruce Farmer has been the coroner for 14 years and is now trying to figure out a different way to run things.
“Whenever we needed to transport a body and the family hadn’t decided who they wanted for a funeral home, the local funeral homes would rotate around and come out and help us pick up the deceased and bring them to our office for us,” Farmer said.
Costs go up yearly, so he understands the funeral homes’ hesitation.
“We had like 30 days notice of what they were going to end up doing," Farmer said. "We’ve been going around, I’ve talked to other counties about what they do about transporting bodies. Been talking with our county judge, our county attorney, trying to get something worked out.”
Last Tuesday, Farmer went to fiscal court to express his concerns and address the changes.
Being in the business for so long, he knows expenses are rising.
“Employee expenses, vehicle expenses and all like that that are going up every day. And like I said, we greatly appreciated all the work that they did with us.”
Rudy Rowland Funeral Home and the coroner’s office were able to agree to a deal while a permanent solution is still in the works.
“The coroner’s office called me and asked me to help them because they didn’t have anyone else to do it. And I said it’s going to be the same as what we charge any family. In other words, I wasn’t charging the coroner’s office more than what I would charge anyone else,” said Jerel Schneider, owner of Rudy Rowland Funeral Home.
Farmer says he is grateful for the local funeral homes being more than generous in past years.
He says they’re exploring several options such as transporting the bodies themselves or contracting it out. There’s no clear time frame when this will be solved, but he is hoping to find a solution as soon as possible.