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Neighbors say no to plans for substance abuse treatment facility

Company plans to buy Hobart mansion
Posted at 5:00 PM, Jun 05, 2024

HOBART (NBC 26) — At Tuesday's Hobart village board meeting dozens of community members spoke out against a plan for a new substance abuse treatment facility on Fonda Fields Court.

  • Get a bird's eye view of the property one company wants to buy for a substance abuse treatment facility
  • Village Administrator Aaron Kramer says a mansion on Fonda Fields Court is where a company called Summit Behavioral Health plans to build a live-in center for people with substance abuse issues or alcohol addiction
  • Tuesday's Hobart village board meeting was packed, lasting about four hours with dozens of community members speaking out against the plan
  • The public hearing will continue in July

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

Plans to build a substance abuse treatment facility in this neighborhood are being met with resistance. I'm your Hobart neighborhood reporter Pari Apostolakos here with why some are speaking out against it.

On Tuesday, people packed Hobart's village board meeting with many, like Chris Skokan, sharing why they don't want the substance abuse treatment facility in their neighborhood.

"We showed up in force and we were all against this," Skokan said. "There's not a single person that I talked to that is for this."

According to the meeting agenda, a company called Summit Behavioral Health is asking to buy property on Fonda Fields Court in Hobart. They plan to open a live-in wellness facility for people with substance abuse issues and alcohol addiction.

"We all know we need these kind of facilities. The facility is needed. But, there's locations that are more suitable," Skokan said. "A facility surrounded by houses is not a place for a rehab facility."

Hobart Lawrence Police Department Chief Michael Renkas says some of the concern is valid.

"We don't want to see anyone be victimized, and we don't want to see any victimization of our residents or any visitors here that are coming to the facility," Chief Renkas said. "So, those are always a concern of mine."

The Chief says he gathered data from Police Departments near existing facilities owned by Summit Behavioral Health, LLC.

"The incidents varied, you had 9-1-1 calls, you had disturbances, you had runaways or missing persons, you had threats or harassment, trespassing complaints, there was an arson reported at one of them [and] a sexual assault," Chief Renkas said.

Village Administrator Aaron Kramer says the board is not available to answer questions since they haven't voted on the issue.

A spokesperson for Summit Behavioral Health said no one from the company would be available for an interview before the airing of this story.

The village board will hold another public hearing on July 2 to continue the discussion. In Hobart, Pari Apostolakos NBC 26.