The Alex Township Board heard from impassioned community members Thursday evening about a proposed site for an in-patient drug treatment center.
Emotions, at times, ran high as community members voiced their support and opposition to a proposed drug treatment center in Alexander.
“Everybody wants to say they brought a center here, good, bad, or indifferent. And we’re going to be the ones here to deal with it, and it’s just not right,” said Alexander resident Lance Powell.
Some expressed gratitude, saying they know firsthand the positive effects treatment can have.
“I’m awful glad there was a treatment center when I needed it,” said one person in attendance at the board meeting.
Those with concerns say they’re not opposed to the idea of an-patient treatment center. But feel the location of the proposed site presents challenges.
“I do not think the middle of a pasture, with nothing around it but agricultural land, is the best location,” said another Alexander community member in attendance.
The site was previously zoned for agricultural purposes. Summit Counseling, the organization proposing the treatment center, has submitted an application for a planned unit development (PUD).
“It’s not even next to any commercial, industrial zoning. So it shouldn’t even be considered to be re-zoned for commercial or PUD or any of this,” said Powell.
The township will make its recommendation later this month to the McKenzie County planning and zoning board.
“I just hope the township, the county actually listens to the actual taxpayers and the people who live here on what we want, not what’s good for their agenda,” says Powell.
The final decision will lie with the McKenzie County Board of Commissioners. But when that decision is made, Alexander residents hope their voice is heard.
The Alex township board is expected to make a recommendation regarding the facility at a meeting scheduled for June 28th. That recommendation will go to the McKenzie County planning and zoning board. That board’s recommendation will then go to the McKenzie County Board of Commissioners, scheduled to meet on July 17th.