Earlier this week, I told you about a story that appeared in the Houston Chronicle that discussed how residents in a small town are opposed to the construction of a women veterans center. Reader comments on the story expressed sentiments like, “I find it hard to believe that the residents of Taylor are opposed to a hospital for female veterans being located in their town. The folks in Taylor are good people and something just isn’t right about this story.”
Unfortunately, the story appears to be correct as the Taylor city attorney denied Center Point Inc.’s request to open the center according to a letter released yesterday. Apparently City Attorney Ted Hejl did not approve the center because “the area is not zoned for a rehabilitative center for the number of people that Center Point wants to serve.”
It is unknown whether variances from the city ordinance are regularly granted, but Center Point did request a variance (only to later withdraw it).
In addition to the questions regarding permitting, there appears to be some controversy as to the purpose of the center as some Taylor residents believe it will serve as a “halfway house for prisoners.” Although Center Point does own and operate such facilities in California and Oklahoma, a company spokesman said, “We have no intention of using this facility as a correctional halfway house.”
Others question whether Center Point will be negligent in operating the veterans center due to several safety problems at other facilities.
The company said it intends to use the property to provide psychological counseling, social support, and community integration skills training for female veterans suffering from war-related trauma. A neighboring town has invited the company to locate the center in its purview if a resolution can not be reached in Taylor.
Read more about the controversy over a veterans center for women in Taylor, Texas.