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Salem board steps in to help determine future of old Mount Regis facility

SALEM, Va. – Last December, a fire ripped through a local rehab facility, leaving it in pieces.  Now, one year later, the building is still badly burned, and nothing has changed. 

On Thursday, the city of Salem is discussing the future of the Mount Regis Center at a public meeting.

The center's original building on Kimball Avenue burned down in 2016, but the burnt building still stands. Mount Regis said negotiations between its parent company and the insurance company have stalled any plans to demolish the building. 

Neighbors have expressed their frustration with the lack of action. Now the city of Salem is taking the first step to see if the city can help speed up the process and get the lot cleared. 

"As it emerged as a true need because the building wasn't coming down, they were very good to work with us here locally and we were eager to work with them, saying whatever you can do, please do it," said Curt Lane, CEO of Mount Regis. 

At the time of the fire, Mount Regis was already planning to relocate to a new facility in Salem. Staff members said that as demand for substance abuse treatment continues to grow, they hope to free up the old location. 

The city of Salem has given Mount Regis 60 days to get a demolition permit and another 60 to get it torn down once the permits are issued.

The Board of Building Appeals has asked the city to do the demolition work only if Mt. Regis does not get it done in 120 days.