Methadone clinic to move near Energy Park in Greenfield

  • The building at 50 Miles St., next to the Energy Park in Greenfield, is to become a methadone clinic. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • The building at 50 Miles St., next to the Energy Park in Greenfield, is to become a methadone clinic.

Staff Writer
Published: 5/29/2019 10:22:58 PM

GREENFIELD — A little over a year after advocates pitched the owner of the county’s lone methadone clinic to expand its services to meet the increasing need, a new site has been found downtown. 

The Health Care Resource Centers methadone clinic plans moving to 50 Miles St., next to Energy Park late this summer. The practice will likely move from its current business on Colrain Road tucked away near the Days Inn by the rotary. 

The building the clinic will soon move into is currently owned by Northeast Sustainable Energy Association, which has been there since 1995. NESEA will sell the building and switch to renting a spot in Greenfield, after a change in its strategic plan, Interim Executive Director Miriam Aylward said. 

“This building will continue to be a critical resource and a big part with the way the community is evolving,” Aylward said Wednesday. 

The move will displace the Franklin County Solid Waste Management District, which has spent its past two decades leasing the building. Executive Director Jan Ameen said the waste management district plans to stay in Greenfield because of the city’s central location. While it has not found a place yet, the building has been on the market since the fall, Ameend said, so they were aware this move could happen in the near future.

“The people in this building are really great,” Ameen said. “We’re like family. It’s more now figuring out a timeframe to get packed and get going.” 

“It’s time for us to find a new location that fits our needs and our budget,” Ameen said. 

Health Care Resource Centers received its special permit from the Greenfield Zoning Board of Appeals last week following a lengthy discussion among the board and support by advocates in favor of the business that could mitigate the opioid epidemic. 

“Their clientele are people trying to get better,” Zoning Board of Appeals Chair Mark Maloney said Wednesday. “They made a strong case for their application and they agreed to a lengthy set of conditions that will hopefully resolve any potential conflict.” 

The business will not be open during early hours. It will have to adjust business for events in the Energy Park and will need to purchase parking spaces from the city for its clientele. 

“The people who came to the public hearing were overwhelmingly in support,” Maloney said. “The board felt the application was well done and well thought out.” 

He said proponents of the project said the new location will help to increase access to the health care needs. 

It also follows a similar trend in recent years of locating health services in the downtown district.

In March 2018, Jason Goguen, regional director for Health Care Resource Centers, told the Opioid Task Force of Franklin County and the North Quabbin Region that he had been looking for a new space to at least triple its size. At the time he was in charge of clinics in Greenfield, Westfield, Chicopee and Northampton. 

Advocates at the meeting last year pushed for Goguen to speed up the company’s process of expanding its service. Addiction expert Dr. Ruth Potee, who is now the regional director of addiction services for the Springfield-based Behavioral Health Network, asked for “laser focus” from Goguen on the expansion. 

Health Care Resource Centers could move into the building as early as August. 

The property, built in 1850, is currently valued at about $306,000, as of the evaluations approved from the first of the year. 

In December 1994 the building was sold by Franklin Medical Center to NESEA for about $95,000. 

Aylward said it’s important for NESEA, even as its expanded its services to New York City to remain in Greenfield. She said it’s a good space because the employees live in the area. Plus, the expansion of Amtrak in the area is “such a huge difference,” she said. 

“We love being in Greenfield and our staff all live here,” Aylward said. 

You can reach Joshua Solomon at:

jsolomon@recorder.com

413-772-0261, ext. 264




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