With building permit denied, Spectrum exploring options
By Amanda Collins
SUTTON – After their building permit request for a methadone clinic planned at a site on Route 146 was denied last week by Sutton’s building department, officials at Spectrum Health Systems said they will continue to explore options in the area.
Citing water and septic issues, the town’s building commissioner John Couture last Thursday denied Spectrum’s plans to convert a 2,250-square-foot space inside the property at 140 Worcester- Providence Turnpike to operate a medication assisted treatment substance program (MAT). Couture said the clinic would put the occupancy “over the edge” of 25, which would trigger a public water supply issue.
The property already has an occupancy of 17, currently housing apartments, a lawyer’s office and fitness studio, and is fed by a private well.
Further, Couture said potential septic issues were not factored in to Spectrum’s design. Public water supply would require a minimum 100-foot setback from the septic system.
“It’s not an easy question to answer,” he said of the concerns that led to his decision. “Some of it is state, some is local.”
Public water would need to be permitted through the state’s Department of Environmental Protection. They would need to “hook into” a public water line on Boston Road, Couture said, while septic issues would need to go through the Board of Health.
“Until such time that these issues are addressed, the permit for renovation and construction is denied,” Couture said in letter sent last week to Spectrum officials.
Spectrum planned to run an on-site education and behavior modification program at the property, and nurses would dispense the medication methadone there mornings to 125-150 people. Methadone is used as part of a drug addiction detoxification and maintenance program.
In the morning, individuals would be at the site for only about ten minutes, said Kurt Isaacson, Spectrum COO. In the evening, program participants would stay longer for classes and counseling.
“We will continue to explore other options, as a demonstrated need for treatment services still exists in that area,” Spectrum Health System’s vice president of external affairs Cindy Buraczynski told the Chronicle this week. “In addition, we plan to work with the landlord to see if he can resolve the building commissioner’s concerns.”