LOUISBURG — A man who has started three drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers — two in Southern California and a 12-acre retreat near Osawatomie — is looking to open another center in Miami County.
The executive director of Gold Bridge Treatment Center, LLC said he wants to establish an in-patient and out-patient drug and alcohol treatment center in the Omnivillage building at 105 E. Amity St. (Kansas Highway 68) in Louisburg. The center would operate around the clock, seven days a week.
The Louisburg Planning Commission has scheduled a public hearing for 6:30 p.m. Sept. 25 in the council chambers at City Hall to consider a special-use permit to establish the center.
The executive director, who lives in Overland Park, said he looks forward to introducing himself at the Sept. 25 hearing. The director stands behind his reputation as a successful businessman and college-educated professional whose centers have helped hundreds of people with alcohol and chemical addictions to rehabilitate and get their lives back on track, he said.
The executive director said the center will cater to a clientele that is in the middle to upper middle class and upper class. The director said he accepts private insurance and cash only. He said he does not take state funding, and he does not accept Medicaid or Medicare.
The director said his clients have included business professionals and their spouses. Clients’ stays at the center can range on average from two weeks to 30 to 60 days.
“This facility will be staffed with licensed clinical addiction counselors who are experienced and very good at what they do,” he said. “There will be at least two staff members on duty at all times, 24 hours a day.”
The executive director said he will personally screen all patients before admitting them into the treatment program. The center maintains a zero-tolerance alcohol and drug policy, he said.
Patients are regularly tested for drugs and with a breathalyzer to check for alcohol use. If a patient’s test is positive, the person is asked to leave the treatment center. Likewise, if someone tries to sneak in something to a patient, the patient will be asked to check out.
The center will be under 24-hour video surveillance in all public areas.
The director said his patients are not homeless addicts, and they are not people who have been convicted of drug crimes and ordered by the court to go through a rehab program or face jail time.
“This is a very private treatment center. This is rehabilitation for a class of people who want their treatment to remain private,” he said. “I’ve been doing this for a long time and we’ve never had to make one call to the police.”
Omnivillage most recently served as office space for a real estate company and an accounting firm.
The director said the building is perfect for a treatment center. He said the building will hold a maximum of 16 beds, and he estimates the center will be serving 12 to 16 patients on average.
The center has a good staff-to-patient ratio which can provide better care than a facility that serves 30, 40, 60 or 80 patients at a time, he said.
“We provide top level quality care,” he said.
The director said he looks forward to attending the public hearing to introduce himself to the community and to alleviate any concerns residents might have about the center. The director said he wants to dispel any preconceived notions people might have about the center.
“I’ve seen some of the comments (on social media), and they are very valid concerns,” the director said. “I look forward to addressing those concerns at the public hearing.”
He said in addition to concerns about safety and the kind of clientele served at the treatment center, he said another concern was that it might lower property values. He said that will not be the case because the grounds will be improved and the building will have no outward signs of a treatment center.
“We plan to put up a professionally built privacy fence around the majority of the facility, not only to screen it off from neighboring properties but also to maintain the anonymity of our patients,” he said. “We want to create a private setting.”
The company’s name will not be posted on the facility. The only marking will be its logo, which is the letters GB and a small bridge.
“You won’t see any signs out front that say, ‘Drug and alcohol treatment center,’” he said. “If you drive by and didn’t know what was inside, you would have no idea it was a treatment center.”
He said the center probably will employ 15 to 20 people to keep it staffed on a 24-hour basis, and he hopes some of those employees will live in Louisburg or in the surrounding area. He said the center will be making purchases from local businesses.
“We’ll be buying our groceries at Price Chopper and using the community’s fitness center,” he said.
Family members can visit patients on Sundays, and those families will be eating in Louisburg restaurants and buying gas and other items in Louisburg, he said.
The treatment center’s LLC was formed on Aug. 29, according to the filing with the Kansas Secretary of State’s office. The executive director said he doesn’t want people to think this is just somebody with an idea.
“This is not just an experiment,” he said. “I’ve run three other businesses as executive director and all three (centers) have been very, very successful and helped many, many people.”
The executive director said he is excited about this opportunity because he said there are a lack of centers serving Johnson and Miami counties and the surrounding area.
In an online review, a former client of the center near Osawatomie praised the director and wrote, “This is like the Betty Ford of the Midwest.”
The director said he wants to blend into the Louisburg community and get to know the people and be a valuable contributor to the community. The director said he and his wife would like to move to Louisburg in a year or so to be near the treatment center.
“I love what I do,” he said. “I’m a Christian, and I feel blessed and privileged that God has given me this opportunity to help people.”