MEDINA — Medina County is closing in on a lease deal with the owner of the vacant Medina Steak & Seafood restaurant to establish an addiction recovery center.
“We’re sending our final proposed lease revisions to the owner today,” county Administrator Scott Miller said after Tuesday’s county commissioners meeting.
Ken Collins, who owns the restaurant at 538 W. Liberty St., will have an opportunity to propose revisions to the lease.
“I’ll have a final lease for you to approve either next Tuesday or the following Tuesday,” Miller told commissioners.
Collins has been in discussions with the county for several months. A Lakewood chef also has expressed interest in buying the property and re-opening it as a restaurant.
Collins did not return a message seeking comment Tuesday.
Medina County Common Pleas Court judges’ preferred site for the non-residential sober living and recovery center has been controversial. Neighborhood residents have spoken out against the location at commissioners and Medina City Council meetings.
Delane Nagel, owner of the nearby Spitzer House Bed and Breakfast, spoke at Tuesday’s commissioners meeting, raising concerns about using the historic building for the center.
She encouraged commissioners to consider other locations.
“Medina County should search for a location that can adequately provide room for these services and provide room for expansion for future service needs,” she said.
County Chief Probation Officer Veronica Perry has said the facility would be a safe place for those who have completed addiction recovery. She said many recovered addicts remain involved in mentoring in a “sober living” community within that group.
Perry secured a $300,000 state grant to start the facility. The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction provides such grants to help counties open centers offering services to recovering addicts.
The county probation department will administer the grant, but a nonprofit group and an executive board could be brought in to help operate the facility. Perry has said county officials have been in discussions with Robby’s Voice, a Medina addiction awareness organization, to take the nonprofit role.
Grant funds also will support hiring a “house manager” to oversee daily operations. It is envisioned that volunteers would supplement the manager’s work in the evenings and on weekends in order to allow for extended hours of operation.
Contact reporter Marina Malenic at (330) 721-4063 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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