Plans are underway to begin a residential program in the county. Zoning and public opposition are barriers.
The first tax levy was passed for residential services. It took almost 5 years before the homes were actually built.
The construction of five, eight-person homes was proposed. Those homes were to be built at the location where the Justice Center is on Gypsy Lane Road. The proposal faced opposition due to the land and its possible use for a new jail.
The first residential homes open in Wood County. Three homes are built in Portage designed to serve adults with severe to profound mental retardation. The homes are named after Clarence Werner, Bernadine Restle, and John and Nancy Nichols. Mr. Werner was a parent, board member, and was very involved in county and state-wide disability-related issues. Bernadine Restle was a parent and one of the founders of Wood Lane. John and Nancy Nichols donated the property for the homes. Later in Wood Lane’s history, they provided significant funding for the construction of the Nichols Therapy Pool.