Inspection could lead to opening of Rockland methadone clinic

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff
Posted July 10, 2012, at 5:48 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — Two years after the sole local methadone clinic was shut down by the state and federal governments, the opening of the new one continues to await a state inspection.

A state spokesman said Tuesday that the inspection will take place within the next two weeks.

An estimated 400 patients will be using the new clinic.

Colonial Management LLC has been seeking state approval since last year for its proposed Metro Treatment of Maine methadone clinic to be located in Rockland. City officials had said in January that Colonial was expecting to open six months ago but was waiting for a state license.

In April, Guy Cousins, director of the Maine Office of Substance Abuse, said the only license remaining was one from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

On Tuesday, John Martins, communications director for DHHS, said the Division of Licensing and Regulatory Services will do the inspection within two weeks.

“After which it would take less than three days to issue a license if the facility passes muster,” Martin stated in the response for information from the Bangor Daily News.

Rockland’s code enforcement office inspected sidewalks and exterior lighting last week at Metro of Maine in anticipation of the opening of Metro Treatment of Maine’s clinic on Route 1 at the Thomaston townline.

The Rockland facility will open ahead of the one proposed by CRC Health at a location about nine miles south on Route 1 in Warren.

Martins said CRC had filed an application for a DHHS license but later withdrew it.

CRC has been trying to get approval from Warren for a methadone clinic to be located at the intersection of Short Street. The Warren Planning Board approved the project last month but neighbors soon after filed an appeal.

Warren Town Manager Grant Watmough said Tuesday that the Zoning Board of Appeals will meet Thursday, July 19, at which time it will consult with its attorney William Kelly. The town manager said he expects the Board of Appeals to hold the hearing on the appeal from CRC neighbors sometime in August.

CRC has sought to get approval of a methadone clinic in Warren since the fall of 2010.

The Board of Selectmen had initially given approval to selling a former school building to Robert Emery, who was going to lease the property to CRC.

A storm of protest from the public caused the board to drop the sale plans.

Residents enacted a 180-day moratorium on methadone clinics in March, 2011, and then approved regulations for such clinics.

CRC sued the town in federal court in May 2011, claiming that its actions, as well as efforts to impose new regulations, violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Local residents then voted in September to settle the case contingent on the planning board taking action on CRC’s application. But the lawsuit remains pending in U.S. District Court in Portland.

The town filed a motion on June 29 asking the court to enforce terms of a settlement reached last year between the town and CRC. The town argued in its June 29 filing that Warren has approved the clinic.

The former Turning Tide clinic in Rockland was closed by state and federal officials in August 2010 after its director and a counselor were charged with drug offenses.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/07/10/news/midcoast/inspection-could-lead-to-opening-of-rockland-methadone-clinic/ printed on July 31, 2014