Mayor Resigns, Plans Opposition To Crematory

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MOUNT POCONO -- We learned on Thursday that the mayor of Mount Pocono has handed in his resignation because he feels he would have more power as a private citizen to fight plans for a proposed crematory.

The mayor of Mount Pocono, Rich Dorkoski, handed in his resignation Wednesday night. It will go into effect on Monday after a borough council meeting.

He says the reason is that a crematory has been approved to be built near his home and he feels he'd rather focus on making sure the crematory doesn't get built than being mayor.

Dorkoski is upset a crematory is proposed to be built one building away from where he lives in Mount Pocono.  He's so upset he decided to step down as mayor and strengthen his voice against the plan as a private citizen.

"To round out the neighbors, to get petitions signed, to talk to borough council into sending a letter from their viewpoint, opposing the crematory," he said.

While standing on his porch Dorkoski pointed to where the crematory would go up. One building would separate his home from the crematory that is planned to be built as part of the Joseph Pula Funeral Home on Route 196.

"Next to the crematory is a dentist office, a very large dentist office. Next to that is a daycare," he said.

Dorkoski says two years ago, the crematory got approval from borough council to be built, and then just last week borough council received an application for construction for the crematory.

That's when the mayor says realized he needed to step up as a citizen against the plan.

"It really doesn't belong here."

Joseph Pula who runs the Joseph J. Pula Funeral Home says the plan for a crematory is because the demand for cremation burials is up 50 percent in the last few years.

In a statement, Pula tells Newswatch 16:

"Crematoriums exist in any area where there is high population. Once our crematorium is up and running, you won't know it's there.  We will also be glad to invite the public to get a tour of the facility."

The funeral home supervisor says he hopes to have the crematory up and running by early September.

The only thing the borough council can do now is send a letter to the Department of Environmental Protection saying residents have concerns.

The next borough council meeting is Monday, August 5 at 7 p.m. at the Mount Pocono Municipal Building and Dorkoski promises to be there.