Parkersburg officials propose moratorium on drug treatment facilities | News, Sports, Jobs

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PARKERSBURG — No new residential drug remedy amenities could be permitted within the metropolis for almost a yr below an ordinance earlier than Parkersburg Metropolis Council on Tuesday.

Scheduled for first studying on the 7:30 p.m. common assembly, the ordinance imposes a moratorium on the institution of group residential amenities or group residential houses by June 30.

“We simply must put a finger within the dike, so to talk,” Mayor Tom Joyce stated.

Joyce stated he’s not towards rehab amenities, however the ordinance says roughly 19 % of licensed substance abuse remedy beds in West Virginia are inside the metropolis limits of Parkersburg. Nevertheless, the town accounts for lower than 2 % of the state’s inhabitants.

In response to statistics supplied by the town and state earlier this yr, there are 283 state-licensed remedy beds in Wooden County, in comparison with simply 30 5 years in the past. All however 80 of them are inside the metropolis limits, with St. Joseph Restoration Heart opening with 86 beds in 2019 and 75 at Clear & Clear Benefit in downtown Parkersburg final yr.

These numbers don’t embody amenities like Restoration Level Parkersburg, a peer-led, non-medical program that opened with 80 beds in 2017. Such amenities, and group houses for individuals coping with dependancy, could be included within the moratorium, Joyce stated.

Laws handed in 2017 exempted drug and alcohol remedy amenities from West Virginia’s certificates of want course of, below which the state Well being Care Authority evaluations proposals so as to add or increase well being care amenities to find out if they’re wanted. Remedy applications are exempt from native and state zoning laws as a result of dependancy is classed as a incapacity.

“Anybody can come into the Metropolis of Parkersburg and open a drug rehab wherever within the metropolis,” Councilwoman Sharon Kuhl stated. “We’re going to be proactive in not permitting any extra of them till that is addressed by the state Legislature.”

Among the many steps Joyce wish to see the Legislature take is eradicating the certificates of want exemption.

Requested in regards to the exemption from zoning laws, Joyce stated he didn’t know if the moratorium would maintain a authorized problem. However he stated the town has to attempt to do one thing to deal with the influence the amenities have on the neighborhood.

The ordinance says the town has seen a rise in its homeless inhabitants and attributes that not less than partially to individuals leaving or being evicted from residential remedy applications however remaining within the space with none household or different help construction as a result of they aren’t from right here. It notes the town has assisted a number of homeless people in relocating to different elements of the nation.

The rise within the homeless inhabitants has contributed to a 35 % rise in shoplifting and trespassing over the past 5 years and will increase in overdose calls and vacant home fires, the ordinance says.

Tuesday’s agenda may even embody:

* The ultimate studying of an ordinance permitting individuals to discharge fireworks inside the metropolis limits on July 4-5.

* A decision permitting the short-term merchandising of beer and/or wine for at Bicentennial Park for an Oct. 9 occasion referred to as “Ears & Beers,” sponsored by Audiology Companies of West Virginia.

* Joyce’s appointment of James “Butch” Joseph to the Juliana Architectural Evaluation Board.

Evan Bevins could be reached at ebevins@newsandsentinel.com.

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Tuesday’s Parkersburg Metropolis Council conferences:

* 7:30 p.m. — common council assembly, council chambers, second ground of the Municipal Constructing; some distancing is requested.

* Instantly following — City Renewal Authority, council chambers.




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