La Salle OKs crematorium in city limits

Owner says there is no environmental impact

The La Salle City Council approved Monday, Feb. 20, 2024, a special use permit that lets Hurst Funeral Home install a crematorium, the city's first.

La Salle is getting its first crematorium.

Tuesday, the La Salle City Council approved a recommendation by the Planning Commission that a special use permit be granted to John Hurst to add an onsite crematorium to Hurst Funeral Home, 650 Fifth St.

“Today, there is no environmental impact.”

—  John Hurst, Hurst Funeral Homes

Hurst said previously his would not be the Illinois Valley’s first crematorium operated within a city’s limits – Ottawa and Princeton already have crematoriums – though it would be the first in the county’s west end. Residents, he said, will not notice any effluent.

“The furnaces today are so advanced they admit heat but no smoke,” Hurst said. “Today, there is no environmental impact.”

Hurst further noted the crematorium would be operated only at night and is being implemented to reduce costs for families. Roughly half his funerals include cremation and on-site cremation will yield significant savings for the bereaved.

Mayor introduces 3 strikes policy

Separately, the city is adopting a three-strikes-you’re-out policy for spectators who disrupt council meetings outside the public comment period.

Mayor Jeff Grove, reading from a statement, said a warning would be issued each time a spectator is out of order. After two warnings, he said, a third disruptive act or comment would be grounds for removal by La Salle police.

“All we ask, and all we have ever asked, is to please treat everyone in attendance with respect and allow us to continue these meetings uninterrupted,” Grove said.

The policy comes after a Feb. 5 meeting in which a spectator disregarded a warning about interruptions and then was forcibly removed by Police Chief Mike Smudzinski.

In other matters, the council:

Granted a request from Irene Santos, owner of Diaz Family Market, to install a non-illuminated, single-facing wall sign on the front of 135 Joliet St.

Approved a tag day request from La Salle-Peru High School Band Parents from Aug. 16-18 at the intersection of 11th and Bucklin streets

Reported the city had a $174,421 share of retail sales taxes in November. That’s a same-month record and it puts 2023 within $60,000 of the yearly record.

Approved the addition of another handicapped parking space in the 1000 block of Tonti Street, alongside St. Hyacinth’s Church.

Granted a request by Dani Piland, owner of Sanctuary, to install one non-illuminated, single-facing wall sign and one illuminated, double-facing sign in existing sign housing at 516 First St.