Broome County legislature accepts funding for drug treatment fac - Binghamton-area News, Weather, Sports

Broome County legislature accepts funding for drug treatment facility

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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- The Broome County Legislature on Wednesday voted "yes" and accepted a proposal to receive state funding to turn the former Broome Developmental Center into a drug treatment facility.

The legislature passed the measure 11 to 4.

"I feel relieved to know that we are moving in a very positive direction," Broome County Executive Jason Garnar (D) said. "We have taken action to save lives right here in Broome County."

Nearly $3 million in funding will come from New York State to run the facility. Those who have been in support of the facility from the beginning expressed their excitement Wednesday evening.

"The thanks goes to the people from not only Broome County, but the people who reside in other counties and to the people rose up and ensured that their voices were heard," NYS Senator Fred Akshar (R) said.

"We are very grateful that we were able to persuade our state partners to support what is clearly needed in our community and surrounding communities," NYS Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D) said.

However, some members of the legislature, including Chairman Daniel J. Reynolds (R) are still expressing concerns about the facility and its size. He voted no on the proposal. 

"Ultimately, I just didn't feel we had enough information," Reynolds said. "We all want to be able to help people in this community with opioid addiction and problems and there was some information that was not available about fiscal impact and impact to the community."

Project officials expect to bring in at least 50 treatment beds to Dickinson, and have it open and functional by April 1. 

Stephen J. Flagg (R-Majority Leader) - No
Kelly F. Wildoner (R) - Yes
Daniel J. Reynolds (R-Chairman) - No
Matthew J. Pasquale (R) - Yes
Ronald J. Keibel (R) - Yes
Ron Heebner (R) - Yes
Bob Weslar (D) - Yes
Mark R. Whalen (D-Minority Leader) - Yes
Scott D. Baker (R) - Yes
Daniel D. Reynolds (D) - Yes
Greg W. Baldwin (R) - Yes
Jason E. Shaw (R) - Yes
Cindy L. O'Brien (R) - No
Michael P. Sopchak, Jr. (R) - No
Mary A. Kaminsky (D) - Yes



BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- The resolution has passed the Broome County Legislature's Finance Committee. Officials said the measure will be voted on by the full legislature in the upcoming session within an hour.



BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- A vote on the proposed drug treatment facility in Dickinson could happen Wednesday evening.

The Broome County Legislature could vote to accept or reject nearly $3 million in funding from New York State to run the facility at the former Broome Developmental Center on Glenwood Road.

The proposal could also be set aside to be voted on next month.

The entire legislature began discussing this proposal and asking questions of state representatives at 4 p.m. Wednesday. 

Legislators asked several questions related to the number of beds that would be provided at the treatment facility. 

During the discussion, Chairman Daniel J. Reynolds (R) asked, "You mentioned that we're not going to start at fifty beds. Where are you going to start?"

"The ramp up plan is basically get the key staff that are required to operate the hall in place," Syracuse Behavioral Healthcare President and CEO Jeremy Klemanski responded. "And that's going to take anywhere from two to three months past the decision's made to be operational. Our target would be if you like what you hear this evening and want to see this move forward that we could be operational in April, maybe May, depending on how long it takes to put the staff in place. And I think it's reasonable to say that we could open at about twenty-five beds and then if the demand is there, see it move in five-ten bed increments to get a better gauge of where we're at."

Related: Legislature to review drug treatment plan in December

Members of the legislature, including Chairman Daniel J. Reynolds (R), have expressed concerns about the facility and its size. 

Broome County Executive Jason Garnar (D), New York State Senator Fred Akshar (R) and New York State Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D) are also among those who have expressed their support for the project.

Related:  Video shows support for proposed drug treatment facility in Broome County

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