Three Springs’ license renewed with conditions in 4-3 vote

MADISON – Madison City Council voted 4-3 to renew the business license, contingent on specific conditions, for Three Springs residential treatment facility.

After almost two hours of public comments and corporate presentations, council entered executive session for almost three more hours for its decision.

City Attorney Megan Zingarelli opened the public hearing with Sequel TSI Holdings LLC, which manages Three Springs at 1329 Brown’s Ferry Road. The city annexed this property in 1995. The public has expressed concern for years about Three Springs, Zingarelli said, along with reports of alleged criminal charges, assaults and a murder off County Line Road in August 2017.

Council had options to revoke the license, approve the city’s proposal with conditions about operations, or renew, Zingarelli said.

Police Chief David Jernigan has toured Three Springs; he said Sequel has added fencing and changed a push-bar exit door. “It’s important that the police department and Three Springs work together, and we have. We have a monthly advisory board meeting … for an open dialogue. Since August, there have no reported incidences of escapes.”

Three Springs has increased employees to work with the youth and added security cameras. “I feel better today than I did in August,” Jernigan said. “I believe at the current time, the facility is as safe as it can be but needs monitoring.”

Betty Moore, Sequel Regional Director for Three Springs centers, told council about their objectives, staffing and behavioral health services. “DHR likes to keep (clients) close to home when placed,” Moore said. “We take care of those kids that no one wants to take care of. We provide a safe haven for kids who would otherwise be on the streets.”

Sequel’s attorney questioned Madison City Council’s authority to revoke a business license because of Sequel’s state and federal contracts. In public comments, several Madison residents voiced their opinions about Three Springs.

With its vote, council renewed Sequel’s business license contingent on these stipulations:

* Annual, professional security audit — Sequel must present confidential results to Madison City Attorney within seven days after receipt. The first audit is due in 90 days (from April 23).

* Solve security deficiencies — Within 30 days.

* Maintain adequate security and minimize impact to community — Including fencing, secure doors, exit cameras, exterior lighting and noise control.

* Communication with city officials — Meet monthly with Madison police and promptly notify police chief about escapees and runaways.

* Inspections — With reasonable notice, city officials can inspect facility.

* Report suspected violations — For federal, state and local laws. Report to Chief of Police within 24 hours.

* License date — Continues year to year unless City Council revokes or modifies license.

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