City Council approves permit for West Toledo in-house drug treatment center

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - After nearly a month of talks plans are moving forward for Toledo's newest in-house addiction treatment center.

"If we don't allow these facilities in our city—in the neighborhoods where the patients, the clients will come from—then we're really doing a disservice to the city," councilman Tom Waniewski said.

City Council voted 9 to 3 Tuesday to grant a special use permit to Empowered for Excellence to run a 30-bed, all-women shelter near Central and Secor. It's a decision that comes with concerns, but councilman Waniewski says the city has a plan.

"We need to keep an eye on it, not kind of, we need to watch this stuff," Waniewski said.

The watchful eye will come in the form of a permit review exactly one year from now. It's something that Waniewski says will ensure the facility is running in line with city standards.

"We don't want to always micromanage these businesses, but if there are challenges then we're definitely going to keep our thumbs on that," Waniewski said.

Some items city leaders will look for include the formation of a board of directors, certification standards and the number of emergency calls to the facility. While a majority of council supports the plan councilwoman Yvonne Harper does not.

"I think that they need to get their act together over there on Champlain before they reach out there into District 5," Harper said.

Empowered for Excellence currently runs a similar facility in Harper's district that she says is plagued by a number of problems, including relaxed rules. She wants those issues cleared up before seeing another center pop-up.

"We need to really look at this, and it's our responsibility," Harper said.

For councilman Waniewski the call for review is a good compromise that will help those who need it most.

"In the end we don't want families destroyed by addiction," Waniewski said.