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Proposed closure of care facility could affect 600 jobs, 96 residents | News

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Proposed closure of care facility could affect 600 jobs, 96 residents


- (GREENE COUNTY) Six-hundred Greene Valley Developmental Center employers could be out of work and the 96 people they care for could be displaced if a federal judge approves to close the facility.

The Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD) plans to close Greene Valley Developmental Center in 2016. Plans to close the facility are part of a court settlement from an almost 20-year-old federal lawsuit.

News 5 talked to a local man who says closure would be a tragedy for residents and caretakers - as Brian Bragdon's sister calls Greene Valley her home. "She has cerebral palsy, so she's pretty deficient," Bragdon says.

Denise's home for the past 41 years. "It's all centrally located which is important when there's somebody in her condition," Bragdon says.

Doctors said Denise wouldn't live past 7 years old, but she's turning 63 next month. "The care that she's received at Greene Valley and the environment she is in is what has led to her longevity," her brother says.

But now, the only home she's ever known is facing closure - something that Tennessee Representative David Hawk vows to fight. "It's foolish for the state to enter into an agreement that restricts a level of care for our most needy Tennesseans," Hawk says.

It's part of a federal lawsuit facing Tennessee for the last 20 years. The plan to close Greene Valley is part of negotiations to reach a settlement -- the facility is the only that has gone under the lawsuit for years. "As negotiations go forward on an agreement to get the state completely out of the lawsuit, there's been conversation about closing Greene Valley," Hawk says.

Now Hawk wonders where the residents will go. "That's the question that is yet to be answered," he says.

And Bragdon thinking that he doesn't know of a place with such exceptional care for his sister. "I always say it takes a special person to take care of a special needs individual, and I truly believe that about all the employees at Greene Valley," he says.

This agreement is not a done deal - Hawk urges anyone against the closure to bring their concerns to the judge in Nashville. The U.S. District Court will hear the agreement Thursday, and then people can bring concerns to the judge on January 21st.


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