Pittsfield methadone clinic sparks controversy | News
It's the kind of friendly neighborhood where people come outside their homes to talk to each other, ready to welcome the next family that moves in. But they're not ready to roll out the red carpet for the folks who may start showing up here.
Bob Skowron lives across the street from a proposed Methadone Clinic on Stoddard Avenue in Pittsfield. The drug abuse treatment center would serve hundreds of heroin addicts from the Berkshire County area.
The process also has neighbors in an uproar. Skowron says it's been extremely secretive. And he accuses the mayor of quietly moving forward with the plan while keeping residents and city council in the dark.
But Mayor Dan Bianchi says a confidentiality agreement struck between the previous administration and company that would run the clinic kept him from talking about it, that's after Spectrum Health Systems Incorporated sued the city.
Regardless - the secret is out. And you can bet this neighborhood will do whatever it can to keep the clinic out.
City Councilman Barry Clairmont says he gave the mayor a list of four other spots for the methadone clinic where there aren't so many children, and he hopes he'll consider the list.
But the mayor says his hands are tied - Spectrum has looked all over the city and is set on Stoddard Avenue.
Nobody was able to give me a timeline as to when the clinic might be up and running. A lot of that depends on the pending litigation between the city and Spectrum.