By Keith Kappes - Publisher
Jan. 10, 2014 — The Journal-Times has learned that the owners of the Morehead Inspiration Center (MIC) may have influenced the decision to shift the location of a proposed drug rehabilitation center from Grayson back to Boyd County, its original destination.
In an e-mail obtained by the newspaper through the Open Records Law, Richard E. (Gene) Myers, general partner of Laurel Run Management Group and of Morehead Inspiration Center, LTD, complained last Oct. 17 to the Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC) that a facility in Grayson would hurt the Morehead operation.
Myers’ e-mail – signed as a general partner in Laurel Run – went to Rick McQuady, who was serving as CEO of KHC at the time. McQuady was replaced last month by Kathy Peters.
Laurel Run Management and Morehead Inspiration Center, LTD, are limited partnerships with the same business address in Salt Lick.
Laurel Run owns low income rental property in Morehead and elsewhere. The other partnership apparently owns the MIC.
Laurel Run was created in 2005 by Myers and the late Philip R. Lewis of Morehead, who died in November 2007.
Morehead Inspiration Center, Ltd., also created in 2005, lists Myers, Mountain Housing Corporation of Prestonsburg and Shirley Lewis as partners.
Despite multiple requests by the newspaper, Myers declined to comment.
His email message appeared to raise concerns that Pathways, Inc., the agency managing the MIC, had been unable to maintain 100 percent occupancy of the Morehead and that perhaps another provider or a more distant location should be sought for the proposed center.
Myers wrote that the MIC had achieved 100 percent occupancy only two times during its six years of operation and that it needed more residents to meet its “tax credit investor requirements”.
In late 2007, Morehead was the second of the first 10 Recovery Kentucky centers to open.
Like the others, it was financed in part with low income housing tax credits, a federal program designed to stimulate development of low income rental properties.
The center initially proposed for Boyd County would be among four new centers being developed statewide to increase the capacity of Recovery Kentucky facilities.
Gov. Steve Beshear announced Monday that a $500,000 grant for a rehab center in Ashland would be funded from a state lawsuit settlement with two pharmaceutical companies.
Dr. Kim McClanahan, CEO of Pathways, was provided a copy of Myers’ e-mail and asked to comment on its contents.
She noted that KHC had selected Pathways to manage the new center, becoming the only agency in Kentucky with responsibility for more than a single facility.
McClanahan pointed out that the Kentucky Department of Corrections has a contract for 60 beds at the MIC but that prison officials alone decide how many addicted inmates to send to each of the 10 rehab centers.
“It is our understanding that several of the other centers have expanded their capacity but that has not happened in Morehead,” she stated.
“The property owners and Pathways have different objectives at the Morehead Inspiration Center and each party has a different perspective. Mr. Myers certainly is entitled to his opinion of the work we do.”
Asked if she intends to confront Myers about his comments, McClanahan responded:
“We meet frequently in our joint operation of the facility. I expect this topic will come up very soon.”
Keith Kappes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 800-247-6142.