Campton Hills rehab center appears to move forward
After months of debate, hearings and standing-room-only meetings, Campton Hills trustees appear headed toward approving a 96-bed substance abuse treatment facility at a former school site.
"If they don't follow anything we agree to, we can rescind their special-use permit. That was always be the remedy," said Village President Patsy Smith.
After hearing dozens of residents Tuesday night criticize a report that concluded the Kiva Recovery Center would not harm property values, village trustees began the tedious task of spelling out dozens of conditions to a 20-year agreement for the center.
Some conditions include providing 24-hour security officers and a state-of-the-art security system with exterior cameras, not treating convicted felons, and that Kiva apply for and maintain accreditation for the private facility.
"We are really covering all our bases well with this," Trustee Susan George said. "The residents from Day 1 have been very concerned with security."
Trustees will review paperwork and meet again Jan. 15 to likely vote on the plan. No location or time was immediately set.
Residents have fought the plan, saying it would hurt property values and the village's image, overburden the area's emergency services and pose a safety risk if a patient left the property.
Kiva officials have maintained that patients would not be detoxed there, and it would be geared toward recovering professionals who would pay $30,000 for a monthlong stay. Kiva officials did acknowledge that meth addicts also would be treated at the facility.
Kiva also has pledged to pay a $200,000 yearly police impact fee, in addition to property taxes and other fees.
Residents opposed the plan during the summer, but the village's plan commission gave a unanimous endorsement to the plan in November to convert the 120-acre former Glenwood School for Boys.
Tuesday, residents railed on a market analysis report to determine what, if any, effect Kiva could have on property values.
Residents said the study, which was paid for by the village and concluded Kiva would not hurt property values or the village's rural character, was shortsighted and rushed, and that Kiva management did not have a proven track record.
Residents also have pushed for a villagewide referendum in the April election to gauge resident input on the matter, but trustees opted for a postcard survey that was included in the village newsletter last month.
Of the 3,780 postcards mailed -- one for each household and business -- 1,605 were returned. Of those, 1,214 opposed the plan.
Smith said the 1,214 postcards showed to her that only 32 percent of homes opposed Kiva.
But Abe Andrzejewski, a resident opposed to the plan, said the 77 percent voting no in the survey was a landslide in the other direction.
"Residents don't want this. It was our town president's own idea to send these ballots instead of allowing a referendum. Now, she's trying to distance herself from the exceptionally clear results," he said. "This facility stands to have huge negative impacts, and the draft annexation agreement recognizes that even if the property report does not."