Officials Oppose Addiction Recovery Center

Aug 7, 2013

ASHLAND, Ky. -- Officials in Boyd County are vowing to do everything they can to stop a planned addiction recovery center.

The Independent reports the action came Tuesday following an hour-long meeting in which residents near the proposed location vocally opposed the Recovery Kentucky center citing concerns about safety and property values.

Officials proposing the center tried to explain their plans, but the newspaper reports some of the answers were cut off by angry comments from the standing-room-only crowd and some speakers were heckled.

A local organization, Pathways Inc., would operate the center. Pathways CEO Kim McClanahan said the center is meant to be an asset to the community. She said she was unsure what action the Pathways board would take next. She said that would be up to board members, but she thinks the project will move forward because there aren't any zoning laws to prevent it.

The Fiscal Court, however, said it would refuse to sign an application that seeks funds from the Kentucky Housing Corporation from the $8 million development and it ordered the county attorney to send a letter of opposition to all agencies associated with the Recovery Kentucky effort.

Commissioner Carl Tolliver said he would go even further.

"I've got a list of names where you are applying for grants. I'm going to write a letter to every one of them to tell them not to give you money," he said.

As the meeting began, Judge-Executive William "Bud"?Stevens denied McClanahan's request to give a brief presentation about the center, instead saying she should first answer questions about it.

Resident Roger said he and others "understood the need in Kentucky and across the nation for drug addiction treatment centers" but added, "we have a problem with where it is located."?

He asked how many of the 10 Recovery Kentucky centers across the state are located in residential neighborhoods.

More than half, according to a response from Jay Davidson, the chairman of The Healing Place in Louisville on which the Recovery?Kentucky centers are modeled. Davidson added that the centers "make neighborhoods better" before the crowd began booing loudly and he stopped speaking.

Developer Garry D. Watkins said the site was chosen because it's close to "essential resources" such as grocery stores and health care centers.

The explanation didn't appease the crowd.

"It's a good idea, it's just at the wrong place," resident Joe Miller said. "This is a solution to the problem. I just don't want druggies in my backyard."