Foundation takes legal action in fight for first responder rehab center

Published: Sep. 18, 2020 at 1:25 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The battle over plans to open the nation’s first rehabilitation center for first responders could go to court.

Those behind the effort to open Valor Station are taking legal action after the Augusta Commission split last month on whether the rehab center should go in the Green Meadows neighborhood.

The vote to approve failed in a 5-4 vote, with one commissioner deciding not to vote.

There weren’t enough votes to approve or decline, so no decision was made.

The plans are the subject of a yearslong standoff between Green Meadows neighbors who oppose the facility and the Hale Foundation, which wants to open Valor Station.

The foundation has now filed a legal complain.

Main claims in the complaint include:

  • By not approving the special exemption for the Valor Station, the Augusta Commission “ignored the evidence” presented proving the need for treatment centers for first responders.
  • The commission only considered the discriminatory requests of neighbors who asked that a medical treatment facility not be placed in their backyard.
  • There is no material difference between the use of the property and the nearby properties like a golf course and Augusta Tech (pointing to further discrimination claims based on “unfounded concerns about potential increase in crime”).

The foundation is asking the Superior Court to reverse the commission’s vote and approve the special exemption.

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