May 20, 2024

Methadone moratorium on Brewer council docket

BREWER – The six months given city staff to review and update land use codes concerning methadone clinics apparently is not enough time to complete the work, so another six months has been requested.

City councilors tonight will consider extending the current 180-day moratorium on the opening of methadone clinics or other drug treatment facilities, which expires in mid-February.

The proposed amendment order states that the Methadone Treatment Facilities Ordinance Committee is working on the updates, has met numerous times and made progress, but needs additional time.

Police Chief Perry Antone, City Councilor Archie Verow, City Manager Steve Bost, City Planner Linda Johns, Code Enforcement Officer David Russell and City Solicitor Joel Dearborn make up the methadone committee, which was created to review the city’s land use code to see whether regulations need to be added concerning where clinics may locate, their size and governance.

The committee is meeting twice monthly.

Michael Celli, former city councilor who resigned last month after earning a seat in the state’s House of Representatives, also sat on the committee.

Methadone, a synthetic opiate, is used to treat addiction to heroin and other opiates. The drug’s supporters say clinics are crucial to curbing addiction, and critics say the clinics do nothing but breed more crime. Bangor is home to three of the state’s nine methadone clinics.

“Toward the end of the moratorium, the city will hold at least one public hearing and receive input from interested parties,” the order states.

During tonight’s meeting, councilors also are expected to address these issues:

. The Jan. 27 school consolidation referendum question and filling the one-year City Council seat left vacant by Celli’s resignation.

. Approval of the collective bargaining contract for police officers.

. An amendment to the land use code that requires underground utilities along Dirigo Drive.


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