Itasca taking time before final vote on Haymarket drug treatment center

A final vote on whether Haymarket Center can open a drug and alcohol treatment center in Itasca won't happen for at least another month.

Itasca's plan commission on Wednesday unanimously agreed to recommend the village board deny Haymarket's proposal. The Chicago-based nonprofit group is seeking permission to convert a former hotel along Irving Park Road into a 240-bed facility for adult patients with drug and alcohol use disorders.

The final decision rests with the village board. But trustees don't want to rush their decision.

On Thursday, Mayor Jeff Pruyn said the village board plans to have at least two special meetings beginning in the middle of October. The first would allow public comment about the proposal. Haymarket representatives would make their case before the village board during the second.

As a result, the village board will not vote on the proposal until late October or early November.

"I feel confident that we can get this moving forward by October," Pruyn said. "We're just trying to make sure we have things planned out and get it done in an expeditious manner."

The plan commission's negative recommendation came after it hosted public hearings over nearly two years on Haymarket's proposal. The panel heard testimony from residents in and around Itasca advocating for and against the proposal.

Opponents say the center would strain police and emergency services. The fire protection district has one ambulance. Haymarket leaders say they have a contract with Elite Ambulance to handle most ambulance calls, calling it equipped to provide coverage.

Dr. Dan Lustig, president and CEO of Haymarket, said the plan commission's recommendation was disappointing. He added that Haymarket is exploring legal options.

"I think our legal team is looking at all possible avenues, and so we'll see," Lustig said. "I don't think that this is done. But it's disappointing that we all can't get on the same page."

If approved, the proposed facility would provide a "full continuum of health care services," including primary care, for adults 18 and older. The patients would primarily come from DuPage and other collar counties.

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