No decision for rural Sask. treatment centre as local council awaits development plan
FORT SAN, SASK. -- Councillors for the Resort Village of Fort San said they don’t have enough information to make a decision on whether substance abuse treatment centres fall under the term residential care facilities.
Pine Lodge, an addictions treatment centre displaced from its facility in Indian Head, is applying to take over a parcel of land in Fort San with the blessing of the landowner, James Archer, who wants to lease the land of the former Prairie Christian Training Centre.
Council decided at its meeting Tuesday night to table the issue until their next meeting on Mar. 16.
“We need a development plan from the owners Archer Holding. And we have to know exactly what they want to do and how they are going to present it, not only for council, but that information will be passed on to our ratepayers too,” Fort San Mayor Steve Helfrick said.
A delegation representing the organizers of a petition against the facility’s move asked council to defer the discussion so it could be held in a private meeting.
Helfrick questioned how it would be possible for council to discuss a petition if they don’t even have a formal development plan from the property owner.
Council agreed to the terms and is now working to set up a special meeting to discuss the petition information.
“We hope to have it as soon as possible, but as our administrator said, it’s got to be set up,” Helfrick said.
Archer said he applied to present at the meeting, but was told he was too late to apply to appear as a delegation.
Council instructed administration to reach out to Archer to formally present a development plan, something Archer said he will start working on right away.
Administration said council still does not know if Pine Lodge plans to be a permanent resident, adding the concern is other substance abuse treatment centres without the track record of Pine Lodge could move in if Pine Lodge left the area.
However, Helfrick said Pine Lodge has indicated they would stay permanently if approved and would turn their Indian Head location into a youth facility.
Helfrick said all members of council have received plenty of messages and emails regarding the subject.
“It will all weigh in our decision when the time comes,” Helfrick said.