Puglisi Urges Further Study Of Peekskill Methadone Clinic

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The site of a proposed methadone clinic in Peekskill has caused concern among some Cortlandt residents. Photo Credit: Art Cusano

CORTLANDT, N.Y. – Cortlandt Town Supervisor Linda Puglisi is making additional requests of the Peekskill Planning Commission, following the circulation of a petition opposed to a proposed methadone clinic.

The proposed clinic would be located at 3 Corporate Drive in Peekskill, just over the border from Cortlandt Manor's Dogwood Road, residents of which circulated the petition.

Fourteen residents signed the document, stating, "We the people of Cortlandt Manor wish to let you know that we are oppose to the proposed methadone clinic for 3 Corporate Drive, Peekskill, N.Y."

Puglisi responded to the petition by writing her own letter to the Peekskill Planning Commission, asking the agency to study environment, traffic and noise impacts of the clinic and to undertake a "DEIS." The DEIS, or Draft Environmental Impact Statement, is part of the State Environmental Quality Review Act, SEQR, normally considered a lengthy and costly undertaking.

This is the second letter written to the planning commission by Puglisi, the first dated in August, said the clinic "has the potential for adverse impacts to the surrounding neighborhood."

Opponents of the plan were vocal at a City Planning Commission meeting Sept. 11, but Dahlia Austin, director of drug and alcohol services at the Westchester County Department of Community Mental Health, said the clinic is an established part of northern Westchester.  

"Given the fact that the clinics been there for 20 years," she said, referring to the clinic's current location in Cortlandt Manor, at the Hudson Valley Hospital Center. "Clients continue to utilize that service, the majority of the clients are from the northern Westchester area."

"We've got a space crunch here, and the government and others are not reimbursing us what to costs to run the clinic," said Victoria Hochman, spokesperson for the Hudson Valley Hospital Center, about the methadone clinic's move.

Another company, the Renaissance Project, would take over operation of the clinic if it moves to the proposed location. 

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nahvah:

The idea of moving a methadone clinic out of a hospital and to the outer edges of a community and county is to say the least, illogical! This is discriminatory to the population that needs easy access to supports both physical and psychological. A medical clinic setting is what is needed -- with full time Medical Doctors, Nurses, Psychologists/Psychiatrists and Career Counselors.

There is a danger for the client (and if it's dangerous to the client it will be dangerous to the community), in that this is an unsafe situation for those who need the rehabilitation and counseling to survive, and to manage and lead a productive life.

Peekskill is a town with a reputation for being inclusive of all cultures and socio economic profiles. This particular population deserves the best; not to be cast to the "back of the bus"......but to be given the dignity they deserve in multiple, convenient medical environments in the county with the appropriate specialists, supplies and access.

The entire county and state needs to share in this endeavor with multiple medical clinic sites and support those most in need in the best way; without the fringe's attitude of casting away and shoving aside (literally) this population.

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