ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Opponents of a proposed Islamic cemetery near downtown Albany failed to get city commissioners to strike down the project.
Commissioners approved the plan Tuesday night after a lengthy public hearing.
The hearing lasted nearly an hour, and city leaders finally approved turning an empty lot at the Islamic Center into a cemetery.
Several business owners and residents voiced their concerns, including whether the water supply could be contaminated and the possibility that property values would go down.
After listening to the concerns, commissioners approved the project by a five to two vote.
"It was based on facts, there's 10 criteria for the motion to be put forward and they met every guideline and this was clearly the case of the government working tonight," said City Commissioner B.J. Fletcher.
"I think the city commission was pretty fair with this Muslim thing and I'm not hurt and I'm going to teach my people in my neighborhood don't hate them. Respect them. And respect the graveyard because it was approved," said resident Willie Ross.
City leaders said that there's no proof that water could be contaminated, nor that the cemetery will have any impact on property values.
Fletcher said that she's confident the property will be well-maintained.