Modified: December 6, 2017 1:13pm
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz today notified NYS officials of Erie County’s interest in creating an Opioid Treatment Center to help combat the opioid crisis locally, following the state’s offer of $2.7 million in funding for treatment and startup costs along with a ready-to-use facility for such a Center in Broome County. The Broome County Legislature, however, has as of today declined to accept the state’s offer and will not re-consider the matter until January 2018 at the earliest. In a letter to NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo, NYS Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, and NYS Senate Leader John Flanagan, Poloncarz indicated Erie County’s desire to locate this life-saving Center in Erie County if Broome County declines to do so.
“A Center such as this would be a critical hub for action against the opioid epidemic and would provide a base of operations for countywide and potentially regional efforts. This epidemic is the scourge of our time and demands that we come together as a community to address the issue, provide treatment and services for the addicted and those impacted by addiction, and begin to heal as a community,” said Poloncarz. “Opioid addiction does not wait, it does not take days off, and addicted individuals literally could be moments away from the dose that kills them. We must act with alacrity and do all that we can today to stop that from happening. This game-changing Center will save lives, and if Broome County chooses not to pursue it then Erie County is definitely interested in doing so.”
NYS has proposed locating an Opioid Treatment Center at the former Broome Developmental Center, a state-owned facility that the Center would use rent-free. In addition, NYS would provide $2.7 million in funding for treatment and one-time startup costs at the Center, along with providing reimbursement for any deficits the Center might accrue during its operation. The full text of Poloncarz’ letter can be read here.
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