Bradford wants to move drug rehab

Bradford Health Services filed paperwork with the state this summer to move beds for a proposed drug and alcohol treatment facility to Columbiana.

If approved, the certificate of need would transfer all 102 beds originally located at Bradford’s Pelham site to property near the intersection of Alabama 70 and Shelby County 26.

Bradford recently sold its Pelham location to the Shelby County Board of Education. In its state paperwork, the company explained the need for a new location.

“The relocation of beds will increase Bradford’s ability to provide services to all the members of the community and the additional patients received from outside the area … The influx of patients (both in and out of state) has increased the demand for our services in addition to the need to relocate because the existing site is no longer appropriate.”

According to the application, the Pelham site was a more rural area when the facility was built in the 1980s but has grown to be more densely populated.

Columbiana Mayor Allan Lowe said he wrote a letter of support for the new center when the company first planned to relocate closer to the Chilton County line.

But he said he doesn’t agree with or support the new location.

“I encouraged them to hold a public meeting because people will immediately feel apprehensive about anything that involves people who have broken the law entering their community,” Lowe said. “I told them I could not support the location they are currently considering.”

Preliminary plans include a 25,000-square-foot facility situated on 33 acres of land.

It would include about 50 semi-private rooms, classrooms, administrative offices, a gymnasium, cafeteria and other common areas.

Administrators expect the project, if approved, to take approximately 18 months to complete.