LEWISTON — A proposed Mollison Way methadone clinic will get its first public hearing on Monday, Feb. 28.
The Lewiston Planning Board is scheduled to review the application from Mass.-based Community Substance Abuse Centers to locate a methadone treatment center at 18 Mollison Way, in the same building as the Spare-time Recreation bowling alley. It would be the only methadone clinic in the Twin Cities.
Gil Arsenault, Lewiston's director of planning and code enforcement, said he expected the Planning Board meeting to be straightforward.
"They are limited to reviewing location criteria and zoning matter, and this seems to meet those," he said.
The meeting is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. in Lewiston City Council chambers. If the Planning Board approves, the matter will go the City Council for two public hearings. The first could be scheduled as early as March 15, Arsenault said.
Methadone is used to treat addiction to opioid drugs, such as heroin and OxyContin. The company operates 12 clinics in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and a 13th at 2300 Congress St. in Portland.
Lewiston requires substance-abuse treatment centers to get business licenses from the city. That license must be approved by the City Council and reviewed annually by the council. The ordinance allows substance-abuse treatment centers to be built as long as they are a minimum of 1,000 feet from churches, schools, parks and day care centers or facilities.
According to the company's application, it plans to use 6,224 square feet of first-floor space in the 18 Mollison Way building. That floor is shared by the bowling alley, which takes up 19,536 square feet, a 6,480-square-foot vacant area and a 13,000-square-foot vacant area. The building has another 13,240 square feet of vacant space on the second floor.
If approved by the city and by state and federal medical licensing agencies, the center would be equipped to treat up to 500 patients and would employee between 15 and 18 people. The center would be open from 5 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays, distributing medicine until 11 a.m. The rest of the time would be devoted to counseling and treatment assessments.
The center would be open from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. on weekends and holidays to distribute medicine and for group counseling.