News 12 at 6 o'clock / Wednesday, July 31, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Lawyers for a new residential treatment center are speaking out. We're told the new facility that could be built at 959 Bennock Mill Road will not be a halfway house nor allow violent criminals to stay.
Developers hope to bring a facility similar to the Betty Ford Center, which is nationally credited and respected.
Neighbors are protesting while Attorney Pat Rice is explaining.
"These are not criminals, they are our neighbors. They are the lady or man next door who fell into an addiction, who's righted themself or herself," Rice said.
A halfway house by definition is a place for ex-convicts to be reintroduced to society, while a residential treatment center is a live-in health care facility providing therapy for substance abuse.
Rice is the lawyer representing the developers of what is being called the Georgia Recovery Center at Bluff Plantation.
"It's purely a facility where they'll get treatment. They won't be going back and forth anywhere. Family will be flying from all over to visit," Rice said.
The location to Augusta Regional Airport was one reason, lawyers say, why the spot was chosen. The project could also bring 70 full-time jobs and others for house keeping and landscaping. In five years, the total project could bring in $25 to 30 million.
"It's an ideal setting. It's a quiet rural setting almost. I think it's ideal for somebody getting this type of treatment," Rice said.
He plans to speak with neighbors in the area who already appear to have their minds made up.
"An addict is an addict and they will do what they have to do to get their next fix," said neighbor Crystal Seago.
Contact Rice for more information at (706) 722-4481.