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Tuesday's Letter to the editor

OPINION May 4, 2021 at 4:00 a.m.

Voice your concerns

Dear editor:

I have a question for all Hot Springs residents, and more specifically the businesses and homeowners of the Park Avenue Community and downtown. Why are you not up in arms and not supporting your friends and neighbors over in the Whittington Valley who are fighting to protect their neighborhood from an unwanted 48-bed drug rehab facility? There has not been one letter to the editor nor one public objection from Park Avenue or downtown residents or business owners regarding this facility being placed in District 1.

Understand that Park Avenue, downtown and the Whittington Valley are in the same city district and are represented by the same city director, Erin Holliday. Have you heard anything from your city director about this proposal? Have you contacted anyone in the Valley to offer your assistance? Do you care? You should! For what happens in the Valley will set a precedent that will impact every neighborhood in Hot Springs.

There are numerous businesses on Park Avenue. Downtown is the crown jewel of our city, and every neighborhood has vacant houses. We are all at risk and we are all in this together. If approved, 48 men will occupy this facility. They will visit not just the parks in the Valley. They will want to explore many other areas of District 1, including the businesses on Park Avenue and downtown. Are you ready for this?

Now is the time to speak up and voice your concerns. To do nothing and remain silent is not an option.

This issue will be heard at the city board meeting at 6 p.m. today at City Hall. If you care about your neighborhood, downtown, or your city, you should attend and speak out. And call your city director and let them know your thoughts on this topic.

Mark Linder

Hot Springs

Overturn decision

Dear editor:

Covenant Recovery is planning to recruit males from all over the state who are in the criminal justicial system and have been court-ordered to live in a drug rehabilitation program. This drug live-in facility will be at 276 Linden St., across the street from Linden Park and one block from Whittington Park. The City Planning Department on March 11 allowed an expansion from a previously eight-bed to a 48-bed facility.

The Covenant Recovery program will be bringing into the neighborhood not only persons with drug problems but also persons who are actively in the criminal judicial system who will be court-ordered to go live at this facility. Covenant Recovery specializes in prison reentry programs with no security and no locked doors, where the residents are free to leave in the day, and by law can leave the program whenever they want.

An appeal hearing at 6 p.m. today is being decided whether to overturn the permit granted. This permit should be overturned to maintain the residential character of the neighborhoods. This facility location will impact Hot Springs in so many negative ways that it is vital that we overturn the expansion permit, and keep the eight-bed regulation in force.

Everything which happens affects not only the neighborhood where it is, but the whole city. If the ultimate goal is to help these persons who are recovering from drug addiction and are currently in the criminal judicial system, we need to plan this better and make it successful for not only the recovering addicts attempting to fix their legal issues with the law, but also for the neighborhood where it will be residing. The persons should be isolated away from downtown, where they can more easily search for their substances of choice and be influenced by all the bars filled with alcohol, and potential drug sellers. Drugs are unpredictable and drugs make people do criminal activities. This location is setting it up to fail for both the recovering persons and also the neighborhood where it will be operating.

This permit should be overturned to maintain the residential character and the security of the neighborhood, as well as to help the recovering addicts to succeed with their court-ordered programs.

Email your concerns to your city directors.

Vanessa Grover

Hot Springs

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