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Planning board will hear plans for rehab center in Marco Island

Posted at 10:18 PM, Feb 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-02 22:20:31-05

Plans for a 30-bed substance abuse treatment center in Marco Island will be unveiled at a meeting Friday.

If approved, it would be located on South Barfield Drive at a former assisted living center.

"When we have people going through troubles, especially with addiction a place for them to be is vital," said Pastor Kirk Dreiser, whose church would be next to the rehab center. 

In a letter to the city, the company said its rehab center would not accept court ordered patients.

"Nearly all of the patients who will be seen at the proposed Marco Island facility are professionals with private insurance who are choosing to come to us on their own free will," the letter states.

The company did not return FOX4's calls for comment.

"I think the concerns on the island, if you talk about rehab for drug abuse, is will there be people who sell drugs and paraphernalia, coming down to try and get these people when they leave?," said Chair of the Marco Island City Council Larry Honig.

But Dreiser says he's confident the island's police department would handle any problems created by the rehab's presence.

"Could it draw the wrong element? Sports bars, clubs, they draw the wrong element."

Even if the planning board doesn't give the proposal a favorable review, city council has the final say on the matter.