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Cox’s Creek area residents voice concerns about proposed drug rehabilitation facility

Dr. Muhammad Wasim Sajid listens to comments for Cox’s Creek residents during Monday’s forum at the Cox’s Creek Elementary School gym.

 

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Monday, July 30, 2018 — The message from Cox’s Creek residents was loud and clear Monday night — they want no part of the plan to locate a drug rehab in the former Cox’s Creek school building located at 6855 Old Louisville Road.

Monday’s meeting at Cox’s Creek Elementary School was organized by Don Thrasher, the Republican candidate for Nelson County judge executive.

Morgan Lindsey presents Dr. Sajid with a comprehensive list of questions about his plans for a drug rehab center he wishes to locate in the old Coxs Creek school building on Old Louisville Road.

Dr. Muhammad Wasim Sajid, a board-certified psychologist, explained to the crowd of about 75 people the scope of his plans for the rehab center and some background about the need for it in the Central Kentucky area.

The facility will not be a suboxone or methadone clinic; its residents would have to have been detoxed at another facility before they would be admitted to the drug rehab, he explained. He cited the 90 drug overdose deaths in Nelson County in 2017 as proof of the need for a drug rehab facility.

The Cox’s Creek residents listened respectfully, but disagreed with Sajid about locating a rehab at the former school property.

Many of the residents questions focused on security, fencing, and operation of the facility — plans that are at this point very preliminary, Sajid explained. He emphasized that he’s willing to take the steps necessary to make the facility safe for neighboring residents.

During a lengthy question and answer period, Sajid said the facility will not accepted clients with significant criminal background.

Several residents shared with the crowd their personal stories of how drug addiction has affected their lives and the lives of their families.

A Bullitt County woman told of how many rehab attempts her drug addict brother and a cousin had tried and failed.

Todd Harper, the Republican candidate for sheriff, talks with one of the participants of Monday evening’s forum prior to its start.

“They’ve been in and out of these facilities numerous times,” she said, adding that many of them just do not work.

“There aren’t 100 people who would sign up to be in one of your beds,” the woman told Sajid. “These clinics do not work.”

Other residents questioned the safety protocols the facility will have, and if they can prevent their residents from leaving the treatment program if they wish to leave.

Sajid explained that they cannot legally hold anyone against their will — if they wish to leave, they can leave unless their participation in the drug rehab is court-ordered.

Some expressed concern the drug rehab will hurt their property values, or attract crime or violence. Sajid said studies show that a new liquor store will raise the local crime rate more than a new drug rehab will.

Morgan Lindsey told the crowd how important it is for them to attend the Nelson County Board of Adjustment hearing next week to express their concerns about the proposed drug rehab facility.

Not wanting (the clinic) to locate here is not a legitimate reason for the board to deny the request for a conditional use permit, Lindsey explained.

“We have to give them a reason why they need to turn it down.”

Ramon Pineiroa speaks during Monday’s forum at Cox’s Creek Elementary School.

Both candidates for Nelson County sheriff spoke briefly to the crowd.

Democratic candidate Ramon Pinieroa said he was there — like everyone else — to gather facts about the planned facility after hearing a wide array of rumors and misinformation.

Republican Todd Harper said if he’s elected sheriff and the facility is approved, he would have concerns about the security of the facility simply because of having up to 100 people housed in one placed.

“In talking with Dr. Sajid, he’s told me he’s open to security measures to secure the place to the best of his ability,” Harper said.

Additionally, Harper said Sajid told him he was open to hiring off-duty police officers for security work, and even creating an on-site sheriff’s office substation at the facility.

NEXT UP. The Nelson County Board of Adjustments will meet at 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018.

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