The unusual question has been hovering over the head of the commissioners since the April meeting when Coroner Jerry Bridges told board members that Bridges Funeral Home would no longer be providing the service for the county.
Bridges was elected coroner in 1992, but he told the commissioners in a previous meeting that he has been picking up bodies for the county since 1984. That was after he opened Bridges Funeral Home. He said the sheriff asked him to pick up the bodies, and he did so at no cost to the county.
Following a March 21 meeting, when the board members voted not to continue paying for the health insurance of deputy coroners, Bridges announced that, after April 15, the funeral home would no longer be picking up for the county.
The funeral home did continue the service, however, and nothing was done until Bridges told Commissioner Jonathan Pitts at a recent budget meeting the county needed to make other arrangements immediately.
County Administrator Mike Underwood said he was asked by the board to put the body pickup and storage service out for bid following Bridges’ March announcement, and he did so. He said one bid was received. It was from Williams Funeral Home in Milledgeville. The funeral home will pick up the bodies for $250; the county has been paying $400. The cost of storage is the same at $100 per day, and the cost of cremation for the indigent is $500; the county has been paying $700.
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