LifeSkills Meets With Keeton Corrections

By: Ryan Dearbone Email
By: Ryan Dearbone Email

There could soon be a resolution for the proposed correctional facility on Reservoir Hill. A couple of weeks ago, WBKO told you about LifeSkills Inc. trying to sell its current offices to Keeton corrections.

The facility would house 40 convicted felons serving the last years of their sentences.

But it would put them right in the middle of a residential neighborhood.

The uproar prompted a public forum that was supposed to be held Oct. 30.

However, a meeting Oct. 29 between city and county officials, as well as officials from Keeton and LifeSkills, has put the forum on ice.

A lot was on the line at the Monday meeting.

"Clearly, everyone is uncomfortable with having prisoners in their backyard," Bowling Green Mayor Elaine Walker assured.

Not only for the city, but those who work at Commonwealth Health Corporation.

"Our purpose of being there was just to relay to Keeton the concerns we have expressed in the past about this project," explained Ron Sowell, CHC executive vice-president..

Concerns like the residents in the surrounding neighborhoods and the nearby "free clinic."

Walker said although Keeton knew the general area of the building, she doesn't believe they really knew just what the area housed.

She says at the meeting, Keeton seemed responsive to the city's concerns.

"I think that Keeton clearly wants to be a good neighbor. We're banking on that. That's why we're working with them on coming up with a solution," Walker said.

And Sowell agrees.

"I found Keeton's reception to be very good. I thought the conversations went well and they understand our position and our concerns," Sowell said.

All parties are willing to aid Keeton in finding another place to put their facility.

Right now, an alternate location hasn't been figured out.

"We don't know whether it'll be a place located within the city limits of Bowling Green, within Warren County, within our ten county Barren River Area Development District region," Walker said.

So far, the city has already received suggestions about empty property that would be a good fit for the correctional facility.

During the meeting, CHC also renewed its request to take the building off of LifeSkills' hands.

"Commonwealth Health Corporation is willing to purchase the current building occupied by LifeSkills when they depart the hill," Sowell said.

Mayor Walker added that she's feels both sides are on a good path to resolve the situation quickly and fairly.

Mayor Walker also said there's not a set timetable for when a final decision will be made but if the current agreement breaks down, the public forum will be re-scheduled.

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