Plans for Poplar Bluff halfway house fall through

Plans for Poplar Bluff halfway house fall through

POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - Nearby residents are glad plans for a halfway house in Poplar Bluff fell through.

The possible location was just across the street from an in-home daycare and a residential area.

Steven and Candice Vanbeek own a Pop-in Play Place child care center located about a hundred yards from the area.

"We are located right across from the proposed site," Vanbeek said. "We want to have credibility among folks. It's their most precious possession; they aren't just going to drop it off with anyone."

The Vanbeeks say having kids so close to former prisoners is dangerous. Others agree. Joe Humphrey owns a new apartment building nearby.

"I want people to be comfortable when they rent from me that they have a good safe place," Humphrey said.

Don Anderson is the county commissioner for the eastern part of Butler County. He said residents thought the county could veto the proposal, but Anderson said since the county doesn't have planning and zoning, they have no input.

"That's what they thought at first, but we don't have that. But we can sure try to help people," Anderson said. "We've not talked to one person that says we should have it."

Anderson also said another halfway house is located about 13 miles down the road in Neelyville. He said there is room there for expansion.

Jim Kent said the proposal came as a surprise.

"Nobody seemed to know about it," Kent said. "Everyone says we don't need it in this community at all."

Tom Lawson said the halfway house would also have an impact on economic growth.

"It would have an impact on the value of property," Lawson said.

Kent said the company that owns the property where the halfway house could be built is named BradCo.

He said Brad Smith, owner of BradCo decided not to sell the property, meaning the halfway house would not be built.

Smith said he wrote a letter officially rescinding his bid. He said he had considered putting a halfway house there, but once he realized there was so much opposition, he decided not to.

According to Smith, there are now plans for a hotel in that location.

There are a few other proposals for possible halfway houses at other locations around Poplar Bluff, but the east outer road location will not be one of them

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