By Sarah Smith
PARK RAPIDS – Program officials of a long-term, treatment facility said they expected to close a deal to buy a defunct ski resort in Hubbard County and sought county blessings to proceed.
Restore House, a faith-based residential chemical dependency treatment facility that operates a six-bed house in Bemidji, is seeking to buy the Val Chatel property north of Emmaville.
“I turn away guys every day,” Mary Greer of Restore House told the county board.
Restore House has a long waiting list, she said.
The larger facilities at Val Chatel could eventually house 27, possibly more, clients.
Long-term facilities are mostly a good distance from the region, she said.
Greer, Restore House board president John Szurpicki and board member Tim Mountain asked for a letter of support from Hubbard County to proceed.
The county essentially will attest to the need for such a facility.
“Hubbard County is centrally located to serve the various communities of Bemidji, Park Rapids, Mahnomen, Walker and Cass Lake,” the proposal stated.
Restore House has “long-term success, outcome-based numbers,” she said.
The difference between Restore House and Pine Manors is that the latter is a detox, short-term treatment facility.
Restore House helps the complete transition back into society, by finding addicts housing, jobs and aftercare programs during a lengthy but steady recovery, Mountain said.
Commissioners worried about the tax-exempt outfit taking a property valued at about $1 million off the tax rolls. It currently is owned by a local bank after foreclosure.
But Greer said establishing new residents and a workforce in the community would more than offset the loss of tax revenue.
The facility only houses males now, but Greer said it is eyeing a Lake Hattie resort as a facility to house female clients. The Bemidji house could be converted to a transition facility.
By Sarah Smith