Viewpoint: Proposed halfway house seeks location next to West Side Park
Attic Correctional Services has petitioned the city for a conditional use permit to locate a facility at 835 W. Phillip St. To best describe the Attic Correctional Service mission, I am providing information directly from their website as follows:
“Halfway house correctional facilities operate 24 hours per day with on-duty staff for the high risk, high need offender. Staff monitor offender behaviors and whereabouts in the community and enforce program rules and accountability. Services include correctional case management, alcohol and other drug abuse counseling, anger management counseling, cognitive intervention group counseling, risk/need assessment, health screening. Gradual re-entry into the community via restriction and earned privileges. Documented sign-in/sign-out system.”
I have fielded many phone calls from residents expressing their concerns on the proximity of this proposed facility to West Side Park. This facility would be located within yards of an active park that boasts a BMX track, girls’ softball, elementary through high school bus stops and Historic West High School senior living. An additional concern is the probability of decreased property values to adjacent homes. This proposed location will not only affect surrounding neighbors, but may be of special interest to the BMX facilitators, Rhinelander Housing Authority and the School District of Rhinelander.
I am not necessarily opposed to such facilities and understand their importance with regards to helping people get back on the right track in life, but must question why it needs to be located in a residential area so close to where children and seniors gather. I share this concern with the many people that have contacted me and as their city representative it is my job to support their issues.
I encourage any interested parties, whether you are for or against this proposed facility to attend the public hearing scheduled for Wednesday, April 2 at 4 p.m. in the city hall council chambers. If you have additional concerns or questions, please fell free to contact me at 715-367-2681 or Mayor Dick Johns at 715-365-8600. The best way to make your concerns known is to attend this meeting and have your voices heard before the Planning Commission.
I would like to thank those neighbors that have taken a proactive approach by contacting their neighbors and going door-to-door throughout the neighborhood.
Sherrie Belliveau, Third District Councilwoman