Residents Speak Out On Methadone Clinic on Peekskill/Cortlandt Border

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The building at 7 Corporate Drive near the Peekskill-Cortlandt border is proposed for a methadone clinic to be run by the Renaissance Project of Elmsford.
The building at 7 Corporate Drive near the Peekskill-Cortlandt border is proposed for a methadone clinic to be run by the Renaissance Project of Elmsford. Photo Credit: Art Cusano

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. – The city Planning Commission has closed the public hearing on a planned methadone clinic at 7 Corporate Drive but extended the deadline for accepting written comments until its Oct. 10 meeting.

The commission heard comments from area residents and business owners at its Tuesday meeting on the planned facility, to be run by the Renaissance Project of Elmsford. Both Peekskill Mayor Mary Foster and Cortlandt Supervisor Linda Puglisi have voiced concerns about the effects of putting the clinic on Corporate Drive, which is off Highland Avenue near the Cortlandt border.

City planner Jeremy Doxsee explained to those on hand that up to 40 people could be enrolled in counseling programs at the facility, and a maximum of 235 people could receive some kind of opiate treatment during a week.

“At any one given time there could be 275 clients being treated by the Renaissance Project, but of course they wouldn’t all be there at any given time or any given day,” Doxsee said. “The understanding is that the counseling and the opiate treatment would take place between 6 and 11 in the morning, and in the afternoon there would be some administrative work done in the offices.”

But business owners near the location said they were concerned about safety. Brian Dyer of Northbrook Contracting said he worried about increased traffic on what he described as a “glorified driveway.”

“It’s an uncontrolled intersection at the bottom of a hill,” Dyer said. “It’s in the middle of a horizontal curve, there’s no stop signs or yield signs, and, obviously, no traffic light.”

Dyer also said he was concerned about whether the planned two security guards would be enough to handle the up to 50 patients that he estimated may be at the location at a time.

Dr. Leonard Berk, owner of Cortlandt Animal Hospital, also had concerns about safety. Drivers on that stretch of Highland Avenue tend to speed and accidents are already frequent, he said. The road is also dangerous in the winter, he added.

“At six in the morning when there are no sanding trucks, are you going to guarantee us that hill is going to be free of ice when all the reformed addicts are coming for their methadone?” Berk asked.

Berk also said he was concerned about the children in the Dunbar Heights housing complex up the street, and said he feared the stock of drugs that he keeps in his office might attract addicts to break in.

“You are endangering the whole area,” Berk told Planning Commission members.

Also giving comments was Dr. Jane Norton, a retired surgeon. Norton asked why the clinic was being moved from Hudson Valley Hospital Center at all.

“It’s been there for almost 30 years, and it seems that a hospital is the best place for people who have problems with drugs,” Norton said.

Norton also said she was concerned that addicts receiving treatment could suffer harmful or even deadly side effects from the treatment, and the distance from the hospital may be an issue.

“I am positive it will cause deaths,” Norton said.

Written comments to the Planning Department can be sent by email to Peekskill Director of Planning Anthony Ruggiero at aruggiero@cityofpeekskill.com.

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I was curious to know where the drug free zone is? Does a drug free zone actually exsist? The methadone clinic has been providing services in this area for over 20 years,but it seems most of the population in Peekskill didnt know this.Why are citizens of Peekskill concerned now?Why not last year or the year before?There are services provided for active addicts everyday at the Peekskill area health center.What makes this so different?Addiction is everywhere.There is a great need for these services to continue in this area.If there are 250 people getting treatment then why isnt everyone concerned about all the others who are not getting treatment?They are the majority out there.

I agree with Dr. Norton.there are going to be alot of accidents on Highland Ave. if this clinic is established. Just sit in the parking lot at Hudson Valley Hospital in the morning and watch the reformed addicts race in and out. Not to mention the north side of Peekskill is having enough problems already. Great way to better a city with enough black eyes.

This is  not why we have citizen volunteers on the planning board, we except them to think as citizen not bureaucrats. This a kid friendly neighborhood that we should keep that way.
Does anyone else find it curious that the Hospital can not "make enough profit" yet Renaissance Project can, what corners are they going to cut? A even better question is why would a for profit company want to cure clients of the very product they make a profit selling? How do you make a profit reducing your client base? 
I will work as hard as I have to to make sure there is no profitable methadone clinic at 7 corporate drive.

If the esteemed City of Peekskill approves a variance to allow a methadone clinic to operate at this Vacuous location, then Peekskill shall remain an opiate for the people!

This is really a dumb idea one that has the hospital not wanting to do it because it can not make the profit it wants, and Renaissance Project wanting to because it will make the profit it wants. Who gets nothing, the citizens who have a right to live in a drug free area, which this is not going to be. What was the planning board thinking, they sure have not done much planning.