Former OLBH site to be divided for addiction center

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 3, 2023

Despite public protests, move met legal requirements

RUSSELL, Ky. – The public protest about the former Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital becoming a recovery center ended not with a bang or a whimper.

A decision by the Greenup County Planning Commission was read at the Russell City Council meeting on Thursday, Jan. 26, stating that the request to subdivide the former hospital property met all the legal requirements.

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A large crowd turned out for the planning commission meeting in November to talk about ARC, Addiction Recovery Care, renovating the old hospital for a drug recovery center. While they were advised that the meeting was only to consider the legality of the subdivision, commission chair Tom Saylor allowed discussion beyond that.

A public forum with ARC a few weeks later brought a standing-room only crowd and many questions.

But the bottom line for the commission was whether the request by the hospital board to subdivide was legal. The council accepted the recommendation with no discussion at last week’s meeting.

That allows ARC to close on the property and start renovations, which will take a year or more. ARC officials said that the center will open with a small population of those in the later phases of recovery.

No one in active addiction will be there in the early months, the company said.