Kirk McKey: Coroner candidate addresses funeral home fees | CraigDailyPress.com

Kirk McKey: Coroner candidate addresses funeral home fees

I made this statement during the Candidate Forum, and I want to repeat it.

Jesse Arthurs and the staff at the funeral home are sharp, smart, compassionate and do any excellent job in their profession. SCI of Texas is fortunate to have them as employees. I do need to apologize for saying the corporation does not give back to the community. I had no idea they were donating money to all the organizations he listed in his letter. I have not seen SCI listed as a sponsor or donating money to them, so I apologize to SCI for that remark.

Thank you for this. These groups are very important in our community. When Owen sold the funeral home to the Allnut Family, there was a picture and announcement in the paper introducing the new owners to our community. When Allnut sold the funeral home to SCI in August 2017, there was nothing.

Jesse's response to this was it was not relevant and that he had to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

Hmmm. I stated in the forum the funeral home was charging the county more money, and his response was the fees have not changed since Owen had the funeral home. I have the invoices that show the increases.

As an example, I will pick the fee for transportation for autopsy to Grand Junction, a 300-mile round trip. This fee was $250 and has increased to $375 on the last invoice he sent the county. I am never notified of fee increases or new fees charged. When I was at the Coroner Conference last week, the local owner of the funeral home in Kiowa County said he charges his county $250 for a 280-mile autopsy transport. This is comparing apples to apples.

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Corporate-owned funeral home fee to Moffat County for 300-mile transport $375

Local-owned funeral home fee in Kiowa County for 280-mile transport $250

I do not believe it benefits Moffat County to have the same person who bills the county for the corporate funeral home services to be the person who approves the bill to be paid by the county.

It is more important now than ever that we find ways to save Moffat County money, not increase fees.

For two terms, I have been watching the coroner budget. We have gone from an average of 40 calls per year to the mid 70s per year, almost double, and I have maintained the budget at the same level for two terms. I can continue to do this and have recently found a new way to save more money. That is my focus for our county.

Kirk McKey

Candidate for Moffat County coroner