Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, D, sent a letter Wednesday to the governor, the Assembly Speaker and state Senate Majority Leader indicating interest in a new opioid treatment center. The project is currently pegged for Broome County but is on hold because the County Legislature has not considered a resolution to accept $2.7 million in funding from the state.

Legislators said they need more time to review details but the delay has garnered some bipartisan criticism from state legislators and County Executive Jason Garnar.

“While I have no interest in preventing the siting of an opioid treatment center in Broome County, Erie County stands ready to act in the event Broome County does not,” Poloncarz wrote.

He went on to detail the efforts Erie County has already undertaken, including establishing an Opioid Epidemic Task Force last year. He said partnerships between public, private, not-for-profit, and law enforcement already exist to assist individuals and families.

“Many of Erie County’s novelty opioid epidemic programs aim to bring persons struggling with opioid addiction into evidenced-based treatment,” he wrote. “The addition of a treatment center, such as the one being proposed for Broome County, would be a major development and would greatly reinforce our efforts in the fight against opioid addiction here in Erie County and the surrounding counties within the Western New York Economic Development Zone.”

The current proposal would locate the treatment center at the former Broome Developmental Center. The state would own the facility which the county could use rent-free.

The funding would cover treatment and one-time startup costs. Poloncarz did not suggest a specific Erie County location in his letter.

 

Poloncarz Letter by Ryan Whalen on Scribd