Business Owners Protest Detox Center in Neighborhood

Tuesday, May 19th 2009, 8:04 pm
By: News 9

By Gan Matthews, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The City Council heard the concern of business owners along Linwood Boulevard Tuesday about plans for a new detoxification center.

The City Council ultimately voted six to one in favor of the center, so now the new Public Inebriate Alternative Center will be housed in a 7,000 square foot building at 1940 Linwood.

The city said the old PIA on Walnut Street is too small and in poor condition, and it hopes to appease those who work near the new site.

"The PIA wants to be a good neighbor by making the facility look great and by creating a greater police presence for neighborhood safety," said Major Tom Jester of the Oklahoma City Police Department.

Business owners said their street is a poor choice.

"No matter how much you dress up the building and make it look pretty, it's still a drunk tank," business owner Ed Weber said.

The owners of an antique store on Linwood Boulevard moved their business here to get away from the old detoxification center. Now it seems to be following them.

"We are just frustrated with this thing," said Jack SmithSchick of Architectural Antiques. "We've been frustrated through the planning commission. Every business owner, property owner on both sides of the street in Linwood, Virginia to Western is opposed to this thing."

The business owners have few options left. Oklahoma City voters approved funding for a new detoxification center in 2007.