LILBURN, Ga. -- Community activist Tia Severino attempted to raise concerns about a long-running but little-known crematory operating in the city of Lilburn, but was not allowed to speak during the public comment portion of Monday's city council meeting.
"I think the public has the right to know," Severino shouted as Mayor Johnny Crist threatened to have the police chief remove her from the council chambers.
According to the Secretary of State's website, Colonial Cremation Services has operated at its Lawrenceville Highway location at least since 2003. But it's very existence has remained a well-kept secret.
There's no sign on the street advertising its presence. In fact, the only visible storefront belongs to a company named, "Unique Kitchen, Bath & Flooring." The crematory operates out of the back of the building it shares with the flooring business.
According the Secretary of State's website, the crematory is owned by Bill Head who runs a funeral home in Tucker. Repeated calls to Head for comment were not returned.
Severino says she believes there's been a concerted effort to conceal the crematory's existence from the public. She says she worries about the potential health impact on a nearby middle school and neighborhood.
Severino says she believes the city council and community should discuss if a crematory should be located so close to a residential neighborhood.