If Southsiders had their say in the matter, the Indianapolis Methadone Comprehensive Treatment Center wouldn’t be allowed to relocate to Southgate Plaza.
But that decision is up to the Metropolitan Board of Zoning Appeals, which will consider a petition to rezone the plaza, 3820 Madison Ave., at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8, in the public assembly room of the City County Building.
As a prelude to the hearing, residents voiced their concerns to representatives from the center on Tuesday at the Perry Township Government Center.
Most prevalent among those apprehensions are an increased crime rate for the area, added traffic, a lack of parking and the fact that such a center does nothing to improve the neighborhood’s image, which the University of Indianapolis, civic groups, businesses and residents have put so much effort into doing.
UIndy President Robert Manual quizzed the reps on what the facility would bring to the area, and he didn’t appear to be impressed with what he heard.
If the board rezones the plaza, Acadia Healthcare, the parent company of the center, would spend about $2 million to renovate the building.
Tim Bowman, Acadia’s regional vice president, said the center’s patients are painted in an unflattering manner.
“Seventy-five of our patients are employed. They are here because they want to change their lives. They are seeking help on their own.”
Bowman added that security guards would be on the premises, and there would be surveillance cameras.
Currently located at 2626 E. 46th St, the outpatient center specializes in the treatment of opioid dependence. The facility staffs a licensed medical director who examines and evaluates all patients, licensed nurses, a clinic director and counselors. A pharmacist is in charge of the dispensary.
The facility, which has outgrown its building, consists of counseling and clerical offices and an exam room and provides education and awareness programs.
When asked why Acadia wants to relocate the facility to the Southside, Bowman responded that about two-thirds of their patients come from this side of town. It’s natural that we want to be closer to them, he said.
And while most in the audience agreed that the center provides an invaluable service, it’s a service that doesn’t need to be housed on the Southside.