Location approved for facility

Published 3:00 am Friday, February 20, 2015

After nearly four years of work, Riverview Baptist Church received approval Thursday to build a halfway home in Troy.

Bubba Campbell, a volunteer minister with Riverview and overseer of the church’s drug-addiction ministry, said he couldn’t be more thankful after receiving approval from the city’s Board of Adjustments..

“I just praise God,” Campbell said. “That’s the biggest thing I could say. We’ve been struggling for four years trying to get approved by the City of Troy and the community of Troy, and I’m just thankful.”

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The 10-bed facility built at 148 Riverview Drive would provide transitional living and support for men who have completed a 6- to 12-month faith-based drug rehabilitation program and who need assistance in transitioning back into everyday life.

Before reaching a decision, the board heard from community members present at the meeting.

And, while some were ready to give the project the green light, Greg Avant, owner of Sunset Mountain Mobile Home Park, was not. Avant said he had multiple tenants in his mobile home park who were concerned about the location of the facility.

“I commend what the church is doing, I’m not against it,” Avant said. “What I’m against is the location … I have spoken with some of the tenants in the park and got a feeling of what their thoughts would be if this proceeded at the proposed area there. All of their comments were that they would be uncomfortable with the facility being there … I think the location needs to be a little further away than a highly populated area.”

Bobby Smith, a landowner near the plot of land where the facility will be built, said he was concerned about the screening and the water-drainage plans for the building.

“Diverting water onto other people’s land is not right,” Smith said. “That’s what I’m here today for. Unless you can give me a plan for how the water is going to be diverted, I’m not OK with this.”

Audience member Donna Kates spoke up for the transitional living facility, dispelling any questions about the program and concerns about the safety and security of the facility.

“We know what to look for,” Kates said. “If something is not right we are going to deal with it at the proper time and I promise you we aren’t going to let it get out of hand. I promise you that.”

Prior to making a final decision on the case, Jack Norton, Chairman of Troy Board of Adjustment, took a count of those in attendance to the meeting who disapproved of the facility and those who approved of the facility. Of the 20 people in attendance, three people indicated they opposed the facility; 17 supported it.

In other items of business, the board welcomed new member Mabel Williams.

“We appreciate your willingness to serve,” Norton said.