UPDATE: Drug Rehab Facility Approved in Grayson, Ky.

UPDATE 10/9/13 @ 9:35 p.m.
GRAYSON, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Pathway directors and Grayson city leaders hope people have the vision to see an empty field, which can be seen from Interstate 64, as the newest option for people battling addiction.

On Tuesday night, Grayson City Council members gave the OK for a proposal to build a Pathways Addiction and Recovery Center.

"It's all about hope and that next step," said Shawn Conley, who's legal counsel for Pathways. "There will always be concern when dealing with a residential area, having this type of facility, but this gives us the opportunity to remove the emotions from homeowners."

Earlier this summer, Pathways had proposed building the 100-bed facility next to the Cedar Knoll neighborhood in Boyd County, Ky., but it was met with strong opposition by local residents who said "not in my neighborhood."

The new location in Grayson is in a commercial business zone and will give the rehab residents access to local services and employment opportunities right down the street.

"We're very confident," Conley said. "We're grateful for the vote of confidence by the city council and the Carter County Judge Executive."

Once the legal paperwork is complete, Pathways hopes to break ground in February 2014.

Pathways already runs several live-in rehab facilities around the state -- the closest one in Morehead, Ky.

Tony White is the director there and says it's offering its clients a second chance.

"We as a society do a great job of showing the public the downside of addiction, whether it be the crime, the injuries, the despair," White said. "What we haven't been so good at, is what recovery looks like. People do change. They can turn their lives around."



ORIGINAL STORY 8/6/13
CATLETTSBURG, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Emotions were running high at Tuesday's meeting at the Boyd County Fiscal Court.

The fight is all over a proposed Recovery Kentucky drug rehabilitation and recovery facility which is set to be built right next to the Cedar Knoll neighborhood.

The organization known as Pathways says after much research, it's the best location to build the facility, which would house 100 recovering male addicts.

The residents of Cedar Knoll want nothing of it. They packed into the Fiscal Court meeting hoping commissioners and the Judge Executive would help.

"We want them to have a recovery center," Judy Nichols said, "hopefully in Boyd County somewhere. Just not in our neighborhood."

Nichols and other Cedar Knolls residents worry the patients at the facility will roam around their neighborhood and could potentially cause problems.

"Recovery is sometimes short lived," Nichols said. "They can relapse back into the addiction. They would do anything for that addiction. That means robbing our homes or hurting our people."

But Pathways CEO Kimberly McClanahan was disappointed by the residents' view, which she says isn't the case.

"It's frustrating," McClanahan said, "but not unexpected."

McClanahan says her organization did look at several other locations in Boyd County, but the property in Cedar Knoll was the best fit.

"Several sites were looked at," McClanahan said. "Some were bought before we could do anything about it. Some just weren't appropriate. We feel this is appropriate. This recovery model is about reintegrating these men into society."

Back at the meeting, residents pleaded with the fiscal court to intervene.

"We come with an action plan for you to show your support for the taxpayers in Cedar Knoll and every community like Cedar Knoll in this county," Nichols said.

In the end, the Fiscal Court made a motion to not sign the building permit for the facility until Pathways moves the location. Commissioners also pledged to try to block funding for the project.

However, Pathways officials, and even the Boyd County Commissioners, admit not signing the building permit won't keep the facility from being built. The plan now goes back to Pathways' board before a final decision is made.


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