Controversial plan to open methadone clinic in Niagara Falls is a step closer to reality

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NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) — A controversial plan to open a methadone clinic in a neighborhood is a step closer to reality. People who live there and city leaders are against the idea.

A building at the corner of 6th and Walnut Avenue is where Northpointe Council Inc wants to expand a new methadone clinic to serve more people. Northpointe serves about 95 people at the Trott Access Center on 11th street, and dozens are on a waiting list.

City officials recommended an alternative location but despite push back, Northpointe plans to move forward with 6th and Walnut Avenue

Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster says he thinks a methadone clinic is needed, but he doesn’t think that spot is the right location.

“There’s 40 million dollars worth of investment in housing going into this neighborhood. There’s a concern on the part of the neighbors that just when the neighborhood is starting to rise that this facility is going to have a stigma attached to it that’s going to make it difficult for these other projects to be successful,” said Dyster.

“Methadone clinics helps to reduce the overall problem in the community, and the community and all the stakeholders just sort of have to figure out what’s the best solution,” said Dr. Richard Blondell, University at Buffalo Vice Chair for Addiction Medicine.

Northpointe already has a lease with Ellicott Development who owns the building, as well as the needed state approvals.

Dyster says the company still needs to receive zoning board and planning board approval before a building permit can be issued.

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