Westmoreland changes contractor for moving human remains
For the first time in about two decades, a new company will be responsible for transporting human remains in Westmoreland County.
Commissioners awarded a one-year contract to pay $122,500 to Professional Cremation Services LLC of Youngwood for the service. The company’s bid was $51,000 less than the one submitted by Hribal Services Inc. of Mt. Pleasant, which had the contract since the early 2000s.
“I pick up bodies, that’s what we do. I know the business and I have the equipment,” said Tom Grim, owner of Professional Cremation.
Professional Cremation will begin work Oct. 1. The county will have the option to extend the contract an additional year, through the end of September 2021.
Hribal Services bid $173,250 for the work. The company is owned by Sean Hribal, who works as a county deputy coroner. Hribal’s company was paid $214,000 in 2016; $191,000 in 2017; and $148,000 last year to transport human remains to the coroner’s office at the county forensic center in Hempfield, where autopsies are conducted.
Hribal’s company had little competition for the work until this year. For most of the last two decades, it was the only company to submit bids for the work.
Grim, whose cremation business relocated several years ago from Derry to Youngwood, said he decided to expand his operations to include the service.
“I just recently bought out the other owners, so now I can make all the decisions,” Grim said.
Coroner Ken Bacha said he was surprised there was competition for the contract but is confident Grim’s company can do the job. The company will be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“There’s not a lot of these companies out there to do this,” Bacha said.
Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293, [email protected] or via Twitter .