WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - Waveland's Board of Aldermen shot down a proposal that would have allowed a methadone clinic to operate in the city on Tuesday. As we told you last week, Colonial Management Group, based in Orlando, wanted to open a rehab clinic off Highway 90 in the now vacant Waveland Professional Plaza Building.
The unanimous vote against the plan didn't come without much debate. When the issue came up at the board's meeting, two residents spoke out against the proposed clinic.
"Two things that pick up in the area when they come in is purse snatching and break-ins. Do we need this element in our city?" said Waveland resident Alfred Harris.
The other agreed Waveland is no place for a methadone clinic.
"Maybe in an area where there are pain clinics, so people can make a choice. We don't have any pain clinics here, so we don't need a methadone clinic. We don't have transportation for these people to get around. They have it in Gulfport and Biloxi CTA," said Waveland resident Deborah Smith.
When board members got ready to vote on the issue, the city attorney stopped them. He said he received a call from Colonial Management Group's attorney asking that the issue be postponed and taken up on Aug. 20. The request was refused by the board, and caught the building's owner by surprise.
"I'm to understand there is going to be a vote tonight?" asked Johnny Newmyer, owner of Waveland Professional Plaza.
"The board has elected to vote the issue tonight," said City Attorney Gary Yarborough.
"The people from the clinic are not here. The doctors are not here. The witnesses are not here," said Newmyer.
"The phone calls I've received on this right here, I've only had one person for it and 100 against it," said Alderman Mark Kidd.
"I'm thoroughly surprised that we haven't been given the opportunity for the company to come down here. Can't we do that, in all fairness, because a lot of lives depend on this," said Newmyer. "This isn't just about you don't want it. I can appreciate that. The doctors, professionals and data needs to be here. This is not about methadone. This is about people hurting with various problems. They should at least give them an opportunity."
In the end, aldermen voted 4-0 against the proposal. Newmyer said he and Colonial Management Group will appeal the decision.