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2018-02-13 / Front Page

Walton Trustees Oppose Mental Health Facility Move to Fancher Avenue


Walton Mayor Ed Snow, right, tells Walton residents that village board members oppose the proposed relocation of the yet-to-be-built mental health facility to Fancher Avenue, a residential area. Also pictured are Trustees Dave Breese and Teresa O’Leary. 
Lillian Browne/The Reporter Walton Mayor Ed Snow, right, tells Walton residents that village board members oppose the proposed relocation of the yet-to-be-built mental health facility to Fancher Avenue, a residential area. Also pictured are Trustees Dave Breese and Teresa O’Leary. Lillian Browne/The Reporter WALTON - Walton trustees spoke out against the relocation of Delaware County’s mental health facility to Fancher Avenue at a meeting of the board members on Feb. 5.

Speaking on behalf of trustees, Mayor Ed Snow announced to a crowd of approximately 50 residents who had gathered for a public hearing on the rezoning of a portion of Stockton Avenue, that not only was the proposed rezone not associated with the potential site for the facility’s relocation, but that the village has previously and continues to oppose the facility’s relocation to a residential neighborhood.

“Our opinion - as the board - hasn’t changed,” Snow stated. “The county would have to fight our ZBA (zoning board of appeals) and prove a hardship to get a variance.”

Two parcels, both located in the village of Walton, have made the “final cut” in the selection process. One of those parcels is located in a residential zone, at the end of Fancher Avenue, adjacent to the Walton Cemetery. The other parcel is located at 237 Delaware Street, in a commercial zone, behind Lasting Impressions Hair Salon.

Further assessment of the properties is required before the county will make its selection, including soil tests to determine drainage and foundation needs, traffic studies and appraisals.

Snow announced that some village residents received a copy of a letter sent by the Walton Chamber of Commerce to town and village elected officials in which the Walton Chamber of Commerce supported siting the new mental health facility on Fancher Avenue, rather than Walton’s business district.

Snow clarified that the copy of the letter that was distributed was penned by the Walton Chamber of Commerce, and though they are entitled to their opinion, their opinion is not that of the village trustees.

Walton Chamber of Commerce Vice President Keath Davis, in defense of the letter, said “I have a responsibility to look out for the business community. I would not be doing my job as a chamber officer if I didn’t represent commerce,” he said.

“We (the Walton Chamber of Commerce) want to preserve the commercial district. A community’s economic condition depends on its business community,” Davis concluded.

Despite differing opinions on the issue, Snow said, the Delaware County Board of Supervisors will make the final decision as to the mental health facility’s new location. “Get ahold of the town supervisor,” Snow urged. “If you have concerns, write to him and he will bring them to the county.”

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