Warren to ask voters for $180,000 in methadone suit

Posted Sept. 01, 2011, at 5:24 p.m.
Last modified Sept. 01, 2011, at 7:06 p.m.

WARREN, Maine — This town, which is being sued by a methadone clinic in federal court, plans to ask voters to spend $180,000 in relation to the lawsuit.

Further details were unavailable Thursday evening, according to Town Manager Grant Watmough, who was still in talks with the town’s attorney. He could not say if the money would be used as a settlement or for legal fees, but did say it was directly related to mediation that occurred Wednesday.

The town called an emergency Board of Selectmen meeting for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6, at Town Hall. There, the board will talk with its attorney and then vote to hold a special town meeting to ask the voters to raise the $180,000.

The decision to schedule the emergency board meeting was made the day after representatives for the town and CRC Health Group met in mediation in the federal court houst in Portland.

CRC Health Group, which had hoped to open a methadone clinic in town, and a man who intended to lease land to the group are both suing the town under the Americans With Disabilities Act. The lawsuit came after the town put up a temporary moratorium against methadone clinics.

Last month the town held a special town meeting to raise $30,000 more than the $16,000 that was already in the town budget this year for attorney fees to help with the lawsuit.

If the Board of Selectmen approves a special town meeting, the date will likely be Wednesday, Sept. 14, Watmough said.

The 2010 town budget for Warren was $2,006,800. That means the town will be asking for almost 9 percent of its entire budget to contribute to the lawsuit.

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