Cedar Recovery plans to have a mandatory meeting with the State Health Care Facilities board at the end of July

Every day, children with bat bags thrown over their shoulders and baseball gloves under their arms enter the doors of Elite Training Center at 1805 Burgess Falls Road in Putnam County.

The facility, which shares an address with space next door, offers sports training with professional athletes passing on knowledge to kids trying to reach the highest levels of their sport. The facility offers a weight training area, multiple batting practice tents and plenty of other tools to help young athletes improve. 

They learn, congregate and become a part of a community. The space next door, in the same building, but separate, is for sale. 

For the kids – Elite Sports Training facility hosts baseball camps for aspiring ballers.

Soon, Elite will have new neighbors. And, like most of us, they will not get to choose, but surely a Methadone Clinic wouldn’t be at the top of the list if they did. However, that may be the case after Cedar Recovery of Middle Tennessee, LLC (CR) recently filed a notice of intent for a Certificate of Need to fill the space with an estimated $5.6 Million facility.

CR originally planned a facility in Overton County but gave up on that plan following backlash from that community, stating at the time, “After thorough deliberation, considering the attitudes, behavior, and dissent expressed during the Tuesday evening meeting, Cedar Recovery has decided to withdraw its application.”

Then, CR wanted to build in Cookeville. Nope, zoning code wouldn’t allow it. Then, it requested an amendment to that zoning code. The city granted the amendment, but it seems it wasn’t enough for CR to make another move.

New plan – Cedar Recovery filed a notice of intent for a Certificate of Need to fill this space at 1805 Burgess Falls Road.

So here we are, and CR is now looking at the greener pastures of the county where there are no zoning requirements, according to officials. As the City council discussed the amended zoning code Thursday night, City Manager James Mills spoke on CR’s decision to apply for the Certificate of Need in the County.

“This property is located outside of the city,” said Mills, “and is not subject to the city of Cookeville’s regulatory authority.”

Putnam County Mayor Randy Porter says the County Attorney is looking into the situation. CR plans to have a mandatory meeting with the State Health Care Facilities board at the end of July, without which the Certificate of Need will not be granted. 

If it is granted, the County may be out of the loop if they were to choose to contest the proposed facility, but County Mayor Randy Porter says he has the county attorney looking into it.

“We just found out about this Wednesday afternoon,” Putnam County Mayor Randy Porter told the Upper Cumberland Business Journal. 

Mayor Porter says he is interested in where the process is headed.

“I’m deeply concerned about any clinic like that coming to our community,” said Porter. “We’re very sensitive to bringing in any more drug issues than what we already have, so we are going to be looking at all the options.”

Cedar Recovery Medical Director Dr. Stephen Loyd told the Cookeville City Council Fentanyl has changed the ballgame, and the service provided by Cedar Recovery is a good thing.

“It’s not a sin,” said Loyd. “It’s not about trading one drug for another. It’s about providing help for the people of Putnam County and surrounding areas who need it without driving long distances.”

Former, lifelong health care worker and Putnam County resident Connie Bellamy says the public needs to be more aware of the dangers of Methadone.

“I want to speak from the heart,” said Bellamy.”… I truly am praying that county leadership and all residents educate themselves about Methadone and how methadone clinics function. … Educate yourselves and decide whether you want it in your neighborhood, across from your church or near your children.”

This is part one of an ongoing series. Check back for part two.

UCBJ Photo.

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