Public voice concerns and support for a drug treatment facility in Oolitic

OOOLITIC – The Oolitic Town Council listened to public members speak for and against a proposed zoning change from commercial to residential zoning designation located at 602 Hoosier Avenue in Oolitic.

602 Hoosier Avenue

The town council itself did not vote on the zoning proposal but plan to vote on the measure on September 27, 2021, at 6:30 p.m. at their regular scheduled town council meeting.

In Oolitic there are only two zoning designations for the town which are commercial and residential, with the town council serving as the plan commission.

A total of 15 spoke for the zoning change and 12 opposed the proposed zoning change.

Michael Coryea answered questions during the special meeting Wednesday night.

If permitted, Michael Coryea plans to house approximately 20-40 persons to reside at the location, after receiving treatment during the day at his second facility located at 2620 Industrial Park Drive in Bedford.

Coryea himself is a former resident of Oolitic.

Those receiving treatment will arrive at approximately 4:30 p.m. after being transported to the location on Hoosier Avenue.

Coryea answered the questions that were directed at him in regards to how the facility will operate, safety concerns, and who will be admitted to the facility.

Those seeking treatment at the facility will either be court-ordered or they will be advocating treatment for themsleves.

Process for selecting those will be treated at the facility:

  • Each person will be detoxed prior to entering the program
  • A pre-admission screening will determine whether the person is suited for the location
  • Treament at the facility will last up to 60 days before the person is releaed from the in-patient program and then follow up treatment will be available afterwords.

In the approximate one hour and a half meeting concerns on police protection, infrastructure, close proximity to the school, and security of the facility were expressed during the meeting.

Around 27 people spoke or notified the town council their feeling in regards to a zoning change at 602 Hoosier Avenue.

“I have crack heads already on Indiana Avenue where I live, that already are on my property and that I have to ask to move on. I already have to protect my children that deal with drug issues on my street. I already have police responding to my neighborhood and making arrests. My family which includes my mother had addiction issues who was taken to Louisville in straight jackets and being defibrillated to be brought back to life. But there was no place for my mother to go locally back then,” said Brent Taylor resident of Oolitic. “I will do everything in my power to support this facility from mowing the grass to doing anything they need to support this program,” said Taylor.

“The time to be afraid is over, we are a small community that needs to be willing to reach out and start addressing the addiction problem. If not here, where?” Teresa Magness asked during the meeting. “These people are already afraid of the stigma associated with mental illness and drug addiction. We do not need to complicate them reaching out to help by refusing to help them,” Magness continued. “It is time to promote grace and be a change maker,” concluded Magness.

A few expressed concerns about having to travel to Washington, Indiana, Louisville, and Indianapolis to find treatment facilities.

Others expressed to the town council they did not want this to be in their town. “I am totally opposed to this, and my family is against this,” said Roger Eads who lives close to the facility.

Residents expressed concerns about the kids walking past the facility or going to Casey’s to get a drink and pass the location. Others stated they did not want to give North Lawrence Community Schools another reason to close down a school.

“I am concerned about the clients walking in and out unassisted from the facility. I am for these programs but they do not need to be in a residential neighborhood,” said Tracy Nash.

Teresa Hignite, Hometown Flea Markets stated “We do not need this in our small community,”

Everyone was respectful of each person who spoke for or against the proposal each clapping their hands after each person spoke during the comment period. The town council limited the conversation to three minutes and each person allowed to speak had to sign in if they wished to do so.

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