May 27, 2018
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Despite looming deadline, Warren delays decision on methadone clinic

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff

WARREN, Maine — The planning board held off a decision Thursday on whether to approve a plan for a methadone clinic off Route 1.

The attorney for CRC Health Group, which has been working since the fall of 2010 to place a methadone clinic in Warren, pointed out after the board meeting that CRC must decide by Feb. 13 whether to accept a negotiated settlement with the town or to pursue a federal civil rights lawsuit.

“It’s a continual moving target,” CRC attorney Walter McKee said about what the town is seeking from the company.

The board agreed to continue the meeting until 7 p.m. Thursday, March 1, at the Warren Baptist Church on Main Street to allow time to get more information on a traffic impact study for the proposed clinic that would be located at a building owned by Robert Emery at 1767 Atlantic Highway (Route 1) near the intersection with Short Street.

The planning board also noted that it must wait for a resolution of CRC’s application with the Warren Sanitary District. The district has asked for an engineering study to determine the impact on its lagoon sewer system.

The town reached a tentative settlement with CRC last year in which the insurance company would pay CRC $320,000. CRC had claimed that the town’s refusal to approve the project and imposition of a moratorium violated the Americans With Disabilities Act by discriminating against people with addictions.

The settlement called for the town to act on the application within 90 days of the completed application being filed. The application was filed Dec. 15. But McKeen noted there is also a deadline by the federal court on whether the settlement will be accepted.

McKee said he would consult with CRC before Monday, when that deadline arrives.

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