LA GRANGE, Ky. — What was once the old library on Jefferson Street, just a block off historic Main Street in La Grange, had new plans under Kentucky Mental Health Care (KMHC), a facility planning to offer both harm reduction and methadone treatment to people with addiction and mental health issues.
“We have 5,000 patients in total and 300 are receiving addiction treatment services since 2018,” said Joseph Nalley, CEO of Kentucky Mental Health Care. “Where is our goal? Mental Health. Addiction is mental health care.
What do you want to know
- La Grange Mayor John Black has refused Kentucky Mental Health Care’s business license for a proposed downtown facility
- Business owners and residents were unhappy with the proposed location of the facility
- Some residents said they support the clinic, but would like it to be located elsewhere
- Kentucky mental health care leaders hope to open the facility in La Grange on July 15
Nalley spoke at the La Grange town council meeting on Monday evening. The owners of KMHC, hoping to open the facility, met with city leaders and community members.
It was a meeting that Mayor John Black said did not go well.
“The introductions weren’t what they should have been on a first appearance. I’ll honestly say they got off on the wrong foot,” Black said.
Carl Rogers, a longtime resident of La Grange, was at the meeting. He and others said they had no problem with what the clinic would offer, only its location.
“We know our community and our needs and we don’t need anything in the center of our city,” Rogers explained. “We need that in the outskirts, maybe closer to the hospitals.”
Although the facility meets planning and zoning requirements, Mayor John Black denied their application for a business license on Wednesday.
“I declined their commercial license because there are too many unanswered questions, too many unknowns,” Black said.
Unknowns that Jason Kinser, owner of a restaurant in downtown La Grange, is not comfortable being so close to his business.
“The building is located a block and a half from my house. It is in the historic district of La Grange. It’s four blocks from an elementary school,” Kinser said. “Our concern was that there would be a lot of people coming out [of the clinic]probably on methadone.
Mayor John Black expects to meet with KMHC leaders soon.
“On the advice of council, we will accept their business license being presented to us, but that does not mean we will issue a license at this time,” Mayor John Black said.
Kentucky Mental Health Care provided Spectrum News 1 with the following statement:
“What we see at La Grange are the issues of stigma on full display. Fear, lies and old ways of thinking are the exact reason we find ourselves in a mental health care crisis in our country. »
Mayor John Black says he will review the business license and research the history of their LLC.