State officials said in a letter Wednesday that Greene Valley Developmental Center, the last state-run institution for people with disabilities in Tennessee and one of the largest employers in Greene County, will remain in operation for another six months, reports WJHL-TV.
The hundreds of employees still working at Greene Valley, have been told it would close in June of this year, then that was pushed back to December, and now it’s set to close in Spring of 2017.
Back in January of 2015, dozens of people protested to keep Greene Valley from closing. But now, the question isn’t if Greene Valley will close but when.
“I’ve been telling the state this for several years that it’s going to take a longer time to transition residents into the community then they’ve set a time frame to do so,” Rep. David Hawk (R-Greeneville) said.
In the letter sent to employees, the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities sent to employees this week, it said challenges came up in building some of the private homes for residents transitioning out of Greene Valley. And because of that, Greene Valley will stay open until Spring of 2017.
The DIDD commissioner said in the letter that as they transition residents out of Greene Valley they will also reduce staffing.
DIDD spokesperson Cara Kumari said in a statement: “A significant percentage of employees working with persons supported at GVDC will have the opportunity to accompany them into their new community home and become employees of the private agency.”