Public hearing Thursday for funeral home proposal in Franklin

April 15, 2014

Franklin — A proposal to turn an old bowling alley into a funeral home will be reviewed by the Plan Commission Thursday, April 17.

Lamont Thao, administrator of Elder Sanctuary in Wausau, presented the city with a plan to establish a funeral home and mortuary center in the former Root River Center bowling alley and banquet hall facility, located at 7220 W. Rawson Ave.

The Root River Funeral Home will serve Milwaukee's Hmong population, Thao said.

"It's very important for the Hmong to have another funeral home," Thao said. "Currently, there are only two in Milwaukee that will allow us to have our special services ... and (the buildings) are quite small."

The bowling alley, which was originally built in the early 1980s and closed late last year, has enough space and parking to make for a favorable location, Thao said.

The Hmong, an Asian ethnic group, have special rituals for their funeral services, which run 24 hours during weekends.

"Usually, when we do funeral services, they go from Friday until Monday morning and are open for all community members to pay respect to the deceased," Thao said.

Loved ones will stay with the deceased and meals will be prepared by the family throughout the weekend. Although some guests stay overnight at the funeral home, many others leave at night and return in the morning.

People exiting the facility during late-night hours will be extremely limited, Thao stated in the plan's project narrative.

The proposed funeral home will not include a crematory.

The Plan Commission will consider special use permitting needed for the funeral home after a public hearing is held at 7 p.m., April 17, in City Hall, 9229 W. Loomis Road.

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