New Methadone hearing deserved

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 1, 2004

This Friday, citizens of Saginaw and the rest of Shelby County hope their voices will finally resonate with the applicants behind the county’s first methadone clinic. They’re not welcome.

Without the community’s consent, two applicants received approval to open the Shelby Treatment Center on U.S. 31 in Saginaw. The process was frought with errors, including forged letters of support. When a public hearing was held, nobody attended because nobody knew. All of the sudden, construction had begun on a methadone clinic in unincorporated Saginaw.

Angry neighbors foresaw legions of drug addicts creeping into Saginaw’s sleepy landscape to receive treatment for their dependence on heroin and painkillers. They grimaced at the image of drug addicts climbing behind the wheels of their cars after leaving the methadone clinic, aiming their headlights for the bustling traffic on U.S. 31.

Rest assured, this Friday’s hearing at the Shelby County Courthouse is encouraging to opponents of the methadone clinic. All construction at the clinic has been ordered to a stop, pending further notice.

Hopefully, that further notice will include a permanent restraining order to stop the clinic from opening. The community deserves a new hearing process so that they can get the opportunity to voice their concerns to the state board that grants approval for methadone clinics.

Thank goodness our local officials are stepping forward to grant citizens the right to have their voices heard on an issue that will impact the community. It’s reassuring when government makes an effort to correct its mistakes