A drug and alcohol rehab in Geneva, Illinois will become a reality after Kane County officials approved the measure despite reluctance from some residents.
The Kane County Board voted yesterday to settle a lawsuit and also allow a drug and alcohol rehab to be built.
After three hours of deliberation, an agreement was made by Kane County officials despite opposition from residents who live near where the proposed drug and alcohol rehab will be located.
Maxxam Partners LLC is the company opening the substance abuse treatment facility on land previously owned by Glenwood Academy, which ran a school that has been closed since 2012.
Maxxam’s request was rejected a year ago, in its second attempt to create a substance abuse treatment center. That denial prompted the company to file a $68 million lawsuit against Kane County, the Kane County Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals. The claims of the lawsuit included discrimination against people struggling with substance use disorders. The two sides eventually agreed to a $5.6 million settlement with $4.6 million going to Maxxam and slightly less than $1 million going to Glenwood Academy.
Maxxam representatives indicated that despite the settlement, they would not be permitted to open their facility until gaining approval from the Illinois State Licensing Board to determine if the distance between their facility and a hospital was adequate.
Neighbors contested these sentiments indicating that the location is roughly a 20-minute drive away from the nearest hospital. They also expressed worries about the former school’s land application for sewage treatment and potential effects that the rehab center will have on the property values in the neighborhood.
Other neighbors highlighted that the new agreement allows the inpatient substance abuse treatment facility to potentially double the number of beds (120) shown in the original proposal, which may create an unsafe environment.
Despite the reluctance for the proposed rehab facility, the Kane County Health Department has been fighting the opioid epidemic for years as they instituted a Narcan program in 2014. The program, which allows patients to locate local addiction treatment centers using a map, has trained over 1,600 people to administer the medication.
Since the program began in 2014, over 6,000 doses of Narcan have been distributed and over 100 lives have been saved, according to the Kane County Health Department.
Narcan has become more accessible in recent years as the state of Illinois passed Public Act 99-0480, or the Illinois Naloxone Standing Order, in 2015 to facilitate the distribution of the medication. The bill called aimed to target areas of risk for drug-related overdoses.
This fall, Kane County Connects is planning to implement an anonymous 2-1-1 hotline that will allow residents in Kane County to call for connections to agencies that provide basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter. It will also allow people to locate the drug abuse program and mental health services.
There are currently two addiction treatment centers located in Geneva, according to the 2017 National Directory of Drug and Alcohol Abuse Treatment Facilities.
The new drug addiction recovery center does not have a proposed opening date at the moment.