Category Archives: Middletown Clinic

>The Independent: Mid’town methadone clinic has neighbors up in arms Twp. attorney: Facility is permitted use in business zone

>I was a little surprised to see that the Independent has chimed in already on the methadone clinic in Middletown. Usually due to the nature of it’s weekly publication it lags behind a week or so of the currentness cycle.

I wont bore you with the analysis, the article is a straight forward rendition of the events of Monday night’s Middletown Township Committee meeting so I’ll just post a few quotes below from it and let you guys be the judge by leaving comments if you wish:

Middletown residents packed town hall on June 20 and demanded that the township revoke the certificate of occupancy (CO) of a methadone clinic, which has been legally operating near Apple Farm Road for several months.

The clinic, Middletown Medical, located on Route 35, which, according to its website, counsels opiate addicts and dispenses methadone to wean them off their dependence, has residents fearing for the integrity of their neighborhood.

“The location of the clinic jeopardizes our safety, the safety of our homes and most importantly, the safety of those who actively walk, run, drive or play in our neighborhood,” resident Diane Mullaney said at the Township Committee meeting.

Mullaney said that the clinic is near a school bus stop, senior center and the neighborhood’s only entrance and exit road. “Ultimately, the township neglected to keep the best interest of our neighborhood in their decision,” she said….

“The [state’s] municipal land use law … was amended a decade ago to specifically designate methadone clinics as business uses, allowing municipalities to only ban them from residential zones,” Township Attorney Brian Nelson advised.

Because the clinic is located on Route 35 in a business district, this law stifles any legal recourse from the township, Nelson said.

“Neither the mayor nor the governing body members were particularly pleased with this answer,” Nelson said.

“If you’re asking for us to pull the CO, which is what it sounds like you’re asking, we can’t legally do it,” Mayor Anthony Fiore said to residents.

“If you’re asking to put the township at risk for amajor lawsuit to do so, I don’t think that’s our fiduciary responsibility when we’re told by legal counsel that we won’t win.”…

“Nobody other than the zoning officer and code officials receive notice of these CO’s.”

Mercantante said that similar transfers happen every day.

“No member of this committee, including myself, had any knowledge that this facility was a methadone clinic,” Fiore said….

“I don’t want this business in Middletown, and I don’t think anyone else wants this business in Middletown. However, Route 35 is a state highway and it is a state business zone,” Fiore said.

“None of the committee is happy about this; in a best-case scenario, it’s terrible,” said Committeeman Steven Massell….

“We can control everything with respect to making sure that they are operating in a legal fashion and that they’re not going to cause those quality-of-life issues that you mention,” Fiore said.

“That’s our job. That’s our priority as a township committee, and we will do that.”…

Fiore said that the township also relies on the vigilance of neighborhood residents to help police.

“This is a huge township. You’re the eyes and ears, and if you see something there, we need to know about it,” he said.

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Filed under Brian Nelson, heroin, methadone clinic, Middletown Clinic, Middletown NJ, opiate addiction, the Independent, Tony Fiore, Tony Mercantante, Township Committee, treatment center

>Methadone Clinic Opens In Middletown And the Neighbors Are Not Happy

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I received word today from a number of concerned Middletown residents angry at learning that a methadone clinic has opened at the edge of their neighborhood.

The Middletown Medical clinic has been open for approximately 3 weeks distributing methadone to opiate-addicted individuals at the corner of Apple Farm Road and Hwy 35. Local residents are outraged at not being made aware of it and question Township officials excuses about how such a clinic could be allowed to operate at this location.

I’ve been told that when residents recently question Zoning Officer Mary Ann Hanko, she stated that she approved the application for this clinic without knowing fully what it’s true purpose was, she thought it was a health clinic that dealt with pharmaceuticals, I was told. She went ahead herself and approved the application without knowing the true purpose of the clinic and without the approval of anyone within the Township’s governing body!

Supposedly when contacted, Mayor Fiore and others had no clue that this Middletown clinic was distributing methadone to addicts from towns in the surround the area.

It never ceases to amaze me how one hand doesn’t know what the other hand in Middletown is doing.

Neighbors of the clinic are distributing flyers to local residents in Apple Brook, Maguire’s Grove and Twin Brooks developments to warn and inform then of the clinc and urge them to attend Monday night’s Township Committee meeting to voice their concerns over it (below is the text of the flyer)

After thinking about this for a little while, I have to agree with the resident. Even if it is a very small possibility, I wouldn’t want addicts, whether they are in treatment or otherwise, wondering around the neighborhood streets or parking lots of areas businesses waiting for their fix. Who knows what something like that could potentially lead to. Evidently, the Middletown Police department is also concerned about the situation because I was told police presence has increased the area notably.

And what about home values? In this economic climate, when so many homes are empty or for sale waiting for buyers, having this type of clinic in the nearby area will needlessly decrease real-estate value further than what would normally be the case. I mean after all, who in their right mind would want to live near a methadone clinic? Not me, that’s for sure.

APPLE BROOK NEIGHBORHOOD ALLIANCE


Dear Neighbors,

This letter is to inform you that at the end of Apple Farm Road (blue and white building) there is now a business named Middletown Medical. This facility is located at the corner of Route 35 and Apple Farm Rd. Middletown Medical is a Methadone Clinic, a treatment center for opiate and heroin dependent people.

The center is run by Pinnacle a company located in Pittsburg, PA. The web site for this facility is http://www.middletownmedical.net; more information about the services they provide can be seen there.

A town hall meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 20th at 8pm at the Municipal Building at 1 Kings Hwy (same parking lot as the Police Dept.).

If you have concerns that a Methadone clinic is in our community, please plan to attend the Town Hall meeting Monday June 20th, 8:00pm.

Thank you.

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Filed under drug inforcement, methadone clinic, Middletown Clinic, Middletown Mayor, Middletown NJ, opiate addiction, zoning officer