default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

San Joaquin County can’t afford new morgue

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Tuesday, September 6, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 7:07 am, Tue Sep 6, 2011.

San Joaquin County Sheriff Steve Moore said he agrees with the grand jury that a new morgue is needed, but there isn’t enough money in the county budget to build one.

The San Joaquin County Grand Jury determined in a report released in June that the morgue is small and outdated for a county with more than 640,000 residents. Built in the 1930s and converted into a morgue in the mid-1980s, the building can fit 23 bodies and six more in temporary storage, according to the grand jury.

“The (sheriff’s office) agrees with the grand jury’s recommendation to build a new facility,” Moore said in his official response to the jury. “A request for a new morgue was submitted via this year’s budget process for an estimated $35 million for construction. Unfortunately, the current budget situation precludes that from happening.”

Moore also talked with Stanislaus County about operating a joint morgue in Ripon, which is just north of the Stanislaus County line, but the project fell through because of the economy.

The Board of Supervisors officially approved Moore’s response last week.

Moore reported that the sheriff’s office has replaced an awning over the front door to the morgue because it had dry rot. The staff also relocated jars with a substance called formalin, which the grand jury described as carcinogenic and a hazard for people who work at or visit the morgue.

The formalin jars were moved from the autopsy suite to the columbarium, Moore wrote. Due to Occupational Health standards, the morgue staff now wears badges detecting formalin twice a year, with the results sent to the hospital to determine whether exposure levels are acceptable.

The last analysis, received by the sheriff’s office on July 25, showed that the formalin exposure was within safe levels, Moore reported.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

More about

More about

More about

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don't pretend you're someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don't insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.

Welcome to the discussion.


Popular Stories


Should graduations return to the Grape Bowl?

Lodi Unified leaders are moving Lodi and Tokay high school graduations from the Grape Bowl to the Spanos Center at UOP in Stockton. They cite limited seating, costs and unpredictable weather at the Grape Bowl. But others say graduations at the Grape Bowl are an important Lodi tradition, and one reason many supported renovating the stadium. What do you think?

Total Votes: 37


Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists