GLENBURNIE — The sudden opening of an addiction treatment centre has Glenburnie council looking for answers.
Serenity on the Rock opened in the Red Mantle Lodge Monday morning. Originally slated to open in central Newfoundland, the centre promotes itself as a health retreat for those who want to be away from drugs and alcohol, as well as a treatment facility.
Glenburnie councillors expressed dismay that they were not made aware of the facility’s opening, especially with one community already turning it away.
The facility was supposed to open in Northern Arm in January, but that town’s council stopped it by reportedly changing its location from a commercial designation to residential. Serenity on the Rock owners found the Red Mantle Lodge, which was for sale, and purchased it.
Councillors said they understood Serenity is operating as the same kind of businesses model as the Red Mantle, and weren’t told what was happening until Monday when Serenity actually opened.
Co-owner Sherri Skeans said misconceptions of what Serenity does was the main reason it didn’t work out in Northern Arm.
“There were a lot of misconceived ideas about what we looked like and what we were presenting,” she said. “There were also some issues with the previous owner and it turned out he was not able to sell (the building) to us, which is a shame.”
Skeans said the facility will operate under the name of Red Mantle Lodge. There are no physicians and no medical detox, she said.
“If someone decided they didn’t want to drink anymore, they go away to heal themselves, mind, body and soul,” she said. “That’s the kind of treatment centre we are.”
She added that it’s also a place for families to stay without having to worry about other guests being loud or obnoxious due to alcohol or drug use.
Glenburnie Coun. Bella Young said council needs to learn more about Serenity.
“We have to find out what their intentions are,” she said. “You can’t just come in and start a business without council knowing about it, we did not know anything about it.”
Town clerk Myrna Hynes said there will be a public meeting concerning Serenity on the Rock over the next few weeks. The facility will also host an open house this weekend.