Residents speak out against proposed North End treatment center - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Residents speak out against proposed North End treatment center

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Residents turned out in full force to protest a treatment center in their neighborhood. Dozens signed a petition telling the Sherriff's office that they will not allow the new Correctional Alcohol Center to be built in their neighborhood.

"I have grandchildren running around in the neighborhood that go to the school. That doesn't belong here," said Allan Rattelle from Springfield.

MGM purchased the Center's South End property for $4.5 million to make way for the casino. It moved to a temporary home in Holyoke earlier this year. Now, Sherriff Michael Ashe wants to build the facility on Wason Avenue and Plainfield Street in the North End.

"I want to stay in Springfield. One, because of the rich resources that are there in terms of work, human services, and the religious organizations. And number two, because of the volunteer escort services that we have there," said Ashe.

Cheryl was one of only three residents at the meeting that was for the rehab center. She said it will enhance public safety.

"What we have problems with our kids, is the addicts, the drug dealers, and the violence. That's what's hurting our children! Not the treatment facility!," said Cheryl Cokley Rivera from Springfield.

Ashe presented renderings of what the facility would look like on Wason Ave.

"When they say 'those' people, they're really talking about the people they live with. So, they already live with these people. Only now, their family members are getting treatment for there disease," said Rivera.

Besides property values,others were hesitant about who would be living in the facility.

"We don't know who's going to be in and out, coming through those doors, there's a lot of kids. If you go up there now, there's a lot of kids playing," said Jose Gonzalez from Springfield.

Residents are planning to present the petition to the city council on Monday.

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