Planning Commission Approves Teen Alcohol and Drug Center

Planning Commission Approves Teen Alcohol and Drug Center

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TREMONTON, Utah (AP) -- The Tremonton Planning Commission has voted unanimously to allow a teen alcohol and drug rehabilitation center over objections of some residents and a 425-signature petition.

The commission granted a conditional-use permit on Tuesday to Triumph Center for Youth, which plans to move into an existing building in a manufacturing zone where there are three or four homes.

The center would house boys ages 13 to 18 with alcohol or drug addictions.

The company must perform head counts every 30 minutes, 24 hours a day, and will be limited to 20 boys for the first six months and then reviewed, the Planning Commission said.

It also must pay for damages to residents or businesses caused by an escaping boy, build a 20-foot fence with privacy slats, install alarms on every door and window, notify police immediately if a boy runs away, notify the city if its state license status changes, install more lighting and landscaping and provide the city with information on the qualifications of employees and the reason each boy is there.

"We're going to keep an eye on you," said Gerald Smith, Planning Commission chairman.

Finally, an advisory board made up of local residents, businessmen and elected officials will be established to act as a liaison between the center and the community.

Sterling Lyman, president of Triumph Youth Services, said he didn't see a problem with the requirements, but acceptance of the permit must wait until an attorney has reviewed the conditions.

Duane Kerr, who lives near the site, said the facility would threaten peace in the community and the four schools located in the area, and would bring no benefit to the city.

Adam Poll, director of the Triumph Center for Youth in Brigham City, said the center will take boys who are referred there by the state for breaking drug and alcohol laws and any local boy brought by his parents. Privately referred boys will be charged $100 per day, the same rate as state-referred boys, he said.

Mayor Max Weese said most cities with such facilities have had few or no problems, although a few mentioned several car thefts by runaway boys.

Weese and City Attorney Bruce Jorgensen said the city could be in danger of losing a lawsuit if it denied the company a permit.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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