COAL TOWNSHIP — A youth behavioral health rehabilitation company opening at the county-owned land near the Northumberland County Jail plans to have its first clients within the next two weeks, according to officials from Diversified Treatment Alternative Centers, LLC (DTAC).

On Wednesday, company officials hosted an open house and a ribbon-cutting ceremony. DTAC replaced TrueCore Behavioral Solutions at the Northumberland County South Campus in Coal Township.

"Our current residential programs are running full, so there's a need for additional services," said DTAC CEO Lisa Olander. "In trying to find a place to expand that's aesthetically pleasing and already zoned, the opportunity presented itself when the prior organization did not renew their lease. It was the perfect storm for us to take over this particular site."

Because there's a need for mental health services for young people, Olander said the ultimate goal is to "strategically and very smartly fill the programs" with the right youth to get their lives turned around.

DTAC's 10-year lease started July 1. The rate will be $15,000 a month in rent with a 2 percent annual increase for the first five years and then a 3 percent increase in the last five years, resulting in a 10-year total revenue of $2,002,181.84 to Northumberland County. The lease also calls for the company to pay for all utilities and taxes.

DTAC, headquartered in Lewisburg, is a privately-owned corporation formed last year with the merger of Diversified Treatment Alternatives and Behavioral Specialists Inc. Overall, the company has 13 programs in Pennsylvania and Delaware for approximately 350 at-risk adolescent males. The educational component is provided by the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit, according to its website.

The site consists of three buildings: one for administration and two cottages that are identical, each has two wings with eight beds, a common room with tables and a kitchen, and space for clinical, group sessions and programming. The facility has 10 employees as part of the 140 employees company-wide, said Richard B. Armstrong, director of clinical operations.

DTAC is waiting for the physical copy of its license issued by the state Department of Human Services Children and Youth and Families. They are also renovating, repainting walls, installing new flooring and bringing in new furniture, said Armstrong.

Commissioners Kymberley Best and Sam Schiccatano attended the open house. Best, who opposed TrueCore, said she supports DTAC.

"They are well known and respected, been in the Valley for 27 years, been caring for Northumberland County kids for a very long time," said Best. "Having this residential program in Northumberland County is wonderful. I think they're going to grow."

Schiccatano said the company is a "great fit" and fulfills the vision of having a place for rehabilitation. DTAC joins Gaudenzia Inc., a drug rehabilitation center, and the county jail at the campus.

"It's unprecedented what we've done up here in three years," he said. "I'm very proud of this. It was a lot of work to get this done."

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