GREENE COUNTY, TN (WJHL)- Greene Valley Developmental Center is home to adults with disabilities and is set to close at the end of this year. That leaves lots of possibilities for the future of the facility’s 400 acres of land and infrastructure in Greeneville.
Adam Arrington, director of the 3RD District Drug Task Force, is hoping help combat the drug problem in Greene County by turning Greene Valley into a drug addiction treatment center.
Arrington said the drug problem in the 3rd District has gotten “considerably worse” especially in the last few years.
“The amounts that we’re catching people with has increased dramatically. It just breaks my heart to see the people younger and younger,” Arrington said. And right now the only real option for these offenders is jail. “I don’t think everyone that gets caught with drugs so much needs to go to jail, love to see more treatment options available,” Arrington said.
He said for some drug offenders, “They recognize their sickness, they’re requesting help, they want help, and we can’t find anywhere to send them,” Arrington said. That’s why he is pushing for Greene Valley to become an inpatient drug addiction treatment facility with counselors on-site.
State Representative David Hawk (R-Greeneville) said there are still many options on the table for the future of this property.
“We’ve already had several good ideas come before us as far as veterans and veterans services as well as medical services,” Hawk said. “I think that drug treatment is such a need in Northeast Tennessee that that could certainly be a potential option.”
The decision on what Greene Valley will be in the future is up to Tennessee’s Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, the owner of the property.
“We will be working with the Department of General Services and other groups to identify best uses of the property however it is important to note that we do still have staff that will continue to be housed on that property even once Greene Valley is officially closed,” DIDD spokesperson Cara Kumari said.
DIDD said no decisions have been made yet, but no matter who it sells the property to, by law, the money will go in to a trust fund for people with intellectual disabilities.
Hawk said there are still more than 60 residents at Greene Vallley. Though the state says it’s closing at the end of the year, Hawk said he expects Greene Valley to be open this time next year, still transitioning residents out of the facility.
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