Boys group home appeals decision to shut it down

A group home for teenage boys in Columbiana will appeal the city’s council decision to shut it down, City Clerk Gina Antonili said Monday.

The council voted Feb. 17 not to grant a business license to the Fortress Group Home on Mildred Street. The home opened in late 2007 and houses boys 14 to 19 who are wards of the state.

A public hearing will be held to discuss the home’s future Monday, March 16 at 6 p.m. at City Hall. People for and against the home will be allowed to speak, Mayor Allan Lowe said.

Those against the home say the children there are unruly. Mayor Lowe said he’s received numerous complaints about Fortress. He also said several of the teens there have had run-ins with Columbiana police officers.

The group home’s executive director Larry Dancy has vowed if Fortress is allowed to stay open, he will work to clean up its image.