Proposed treatment center at Moffat County School District Yampa Building expected to attract out-of-town patients
Memorial Regional Health’s proposed substance abuse treatment center would draw patients to Craig from other parts of the state, according to email correspondence about the project.
A new MRH-backed treatment facility called Providence Recovery Services of Colorado, will move into the almost 100-year-old building located at 755 Yampa Ave. if the Moffat County School District Board of Education follows through on a proposal to donate the building to MRH the green light at the board’s Thursday, June 20 meeting.
On May 15, Marlin Eckhoff, Craig and Moffat County regional building official, emailed Donald James “Jim” Blackwood, an administrator for Sunflower Management Group, one of three out-of-state private partners planning to guide the treatment center from an idea to reality, regarding questions the Planning & Zoning department had yet to have answered.
“It says that the facility will “primarily” serve NW Colorado, approximately what percentage of the participants are expected to be from out of town?” asked Eckhoff.
On May 18, Blackwood responded that the answer is “hard to project.”
“Initially, 100 percent will be within an hour or two driving distance from Craig,” Blackwood said. “The number of patients from out of town will increase once the sober living component is fully operational. Of 40 potential patients living in sober living, we believe 50 percent will be from a distance further than an hour or two drive, and hence need living accommodations, which the sober living component provides.”
Eckhoff asked if participants are charged a fee for the sober living rooms, if the rooms excluded children, where the clients will live when they are off-site, and if there is any transportation that will be provided for off-site clients.
The sober living rooms will cost $750 a month, Blackwood said, a cost “typically paid out of pocket by the patient, not paid by insurance.”
Children and spouses will not be allowed to live in sober living residences, he answered. The $750-a-month sober living residences “will likely be a requirement for admission to the program” for patients coming from out of town and those who have been in recovery for only a short time, according to Blackwood.
Transportation within an hour or two drive would be available through Providence Recovery Services of Colorado, he said. SMG is working on obtaining grant funding for peer recovery coaches to provide rides in their personal vehicles, he said.
Providing the building transfer continues, the treatment center is slated to open this summer, according to a two-page overview of the facility. Providence would provide an “intensive outpatient program,” three hours a day for three days a week; a “partial hospitalization program,” described as six hours a day for five days a week; medication assisted treatment; telemedicine; a “wilderness component,” and “Sober Living” dorm areas to accommodate a maximum of 20 men and 20 women, according to the document.
In an April 29 email to Moffat County commissioners, Eckhoff described comments he’s received from “several people” regarding the zoning of the treatment center.
“All occupants will be allowed to come and go as they please, and the dorm rooms will be similar to a boarding house where they share facilities,” he wrote. “While we do not have any designation for ‘Rehab Facility’ in our Land Use Code, I believe the proposed use would be classified as a ‘Convalescent Center,’ which according to the sections I attached is a permitted use in this zone. I have done some research and have found that many of these facilities are in residential areas of other municipalities.”
Eckhoff commented further on the project stating that the treatment center would be “an allowed use,” with which he believed planning and zoning officials would concur.
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“The ones I spoke to there at one of the planning and zoning meetings at this time, regardless of their personal feeling about whether it’s a great location, they agreed that that is what that should be labeled as and that it would be a permitted use in that zone,” he said. “From everything we’ve come up with so far it does meet the zoning requirements of mixed-use as far as I’m concerned.”
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MRH CEO Andy Daniels said he “has no further comment about this topic at this time.”
The Board of Education will decide on the proposal to donate the Yampa Building to Memorial Regional Hospital in exchange for a discount on health-related services over the next three years.
The next public BOE workshop and regular meeting will be held at 4 p.m. Thursday, June 20 at Colorado Northwestern Community College.