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Government

Elburn residents attend board meeting to voice opinions about proposed addiction center

A drug and alcohol addiction treatment center, proposed for the historic building on the Great Lakes Leadership Campus at 526 N. Main St. in Elburn, would need to obtain a special use permit from Elburn to locate there. Village officials have been reviewing the proposal for the past several months.
A drug and alcohol addiction treatment center, proposed for the historic building on the Great Lakes Leadership Campus at 526 N. Main St. in Elburn, would need to obtain a special use permit from Elburn to locate there. Village officials have been reviewing the proposal for the past several months.

ELBURN – A number of Elburn residents who thought the Village Board would vote on a proposed drug and alcohol addiction treatment center on Aug. 8 showed up to voice their opinions about it.

According to Village President Jeff Walter, of the six people who spoke during the public comments period, five were against the residential treatment center for drug and alcohol addiction locating on a property zoned for residential use. The center, proposed for the historic building on the Great Lakes Leadership Campus at 526 N. Main St. in Elburn, would need to obtain a special use permit from the village to locate there. Village officials have been reviewing the proposal for the past several months.

During the June 19 meeting, board members said they needed more information from the petitioner, Tom Dean, such as site plans and a copy of the signed real estate contract, as well as the identification of the people involved in the ownership of the facility and the shareholders, in order to consider the proposed treatment center.

Walter said that the village is still waiting for additional information from Dean for Village Board members to cast their votes.

During the meeting Aug. 8, a videographer that Walter said was hired by the attorney representing the proposed Illinois Holistic Addiction Treatment Center videotaped the proceedings.

Residents Mary Hansen and Marcia Little, who both spoke against the center during the meeting, continued to do so outside Village Hall when the board went into an executive session.

Little, who said she has worked in the mental health field her whole life, said she was not impressed with the quality of care she thought the facility would provide to its clients. She said that although Dean has compared the proposed facility to others, such as Betty Ford, she does not believe there is any comparison.

“These places are chaotic,” she said.

She said that drug dealers often “hang around” facilities such as the one proposed, and certain relatives who come to visit clients might bring drugs with them into the facility.

Hansen, who has created a page on change.org, has obtained more than 250 signatures on a petition telling village officials to deny approval of the Illinois Holistic Addiction Treatment Center.

She said the fact that the facility will be run by a for-profit organization suggests to her that the owners are only in it for the money. She compared the proposed center to nonprofit centers, such as Rosecrance, saying that facilities such as those are more geared toward helping the clients than a for-profit center would be.

“We’ve done our homework, and we’ll keep doing it,” she said. “I don’t know what the village’s thoughts are, so I’m just going to keep showing up [to board meetings].”

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