An addiction treatment centre won’t be relocating into the former Christian facility undergoing renovation in the Resort Village of Fort San — at least not right now.
At Tuesday night’s council meeting, Fort San’s three councillors voted against allowing substance abuse treatment centres under the umbrella of residential care facilities, the latter of which is one of the permitted uses under the property’s current zoning.
“We’ve never really had such a divisive situation,” said Steve Helfrick, the mayor of Fort San, which is located about 75 km northeast of Regina.
He abstained from voting.
Pine Lodge Treatment Center in Indian Head, one of the largest provincially-funded rehab facilities in Saskatchewan, was damaged by fire in December.
Helfrick said said council learned earlier this year about plans to potentially relocate it to Fort San’s former Prairie Christian Training Centre, which is currently undergoing extensive renovations under developer James Archer.
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The mayor said a group of ratepayers opposed to the Pine Lodge relocation and calling themselves Friends of Fort San presented twice to council, which also heard from the union representing addiction treatment centre employees and Archer himself.
While in other jurisdictions, residential care facilities and substance abuse treatment centres may be somewhat synonymous, the resort village’s administrator, Victor Goodman, noted that councils do have the broad discretion to decide one way and another.
“The are not bound by precedent as to what other communities have done or how they’ve defined things,” Goodman said.
Proponents of relocating Pine Lodge do still have options, including appealing council’s decision, which the mayor said he could easily foresee happening.
“Not in a long shot is this thing over,” Helfrick said.