ITASCA, Ill. — The Itasca Village Board turned down a proposed drug rehab center after two years of debate among residents.
The Haymarket Center wanted to turn a former Holiday Inn, located at 860 West Irving Park Road, into a 240-bed drug treatment center.
Since 2019, there has been opposition by some Itasca residents since the proposal, who argue the village is too small for the facility. They have voiced concerns related to zoning changes, tax revenues and whether emergency services would be able to handle possible increased demand.
“There is an enormous impact to put this in a town of 9,000 people,” said James Diestel with Concerned Citizens of Itasca.
While the proposed facility cleared zoning and planning, the village’s board had the final say with a 6-0 vote Tuesday night not to go ahead with construction.
Itasca has one ambulance and there is concern the Haymarket facility could affect service for the rest of the community. Haymarket offered to gift Itasca another ambulance but concerns about paying for it long term out of Itasca’s budget would be uncertain, according to the mayor.
Some supporters of the facility said after the meeting that they have lost several friends to the opioid crisis over the years.
“If we can save one person,” said Julie Detwiler. “That’s one life we’ve saved.”
Haymarket’s CEO said the failed proposal is full of fear and stigma. He said the company is planning to file some sort of lawsuit.