CRC Health Group withdraws application for Short Street siteBrick school may be back on table; demolition on hold
Warren — CRC Healthgroup has withdrawn its application for the proposed methadone clinic site on Short Street, said CRC Health Group attorney Walter McKee.
McKee said CRC is returning to litigation that will address the issue of location.
A federal judge on Sept. 18 denied a motion from the town of Warren to enforce settlement in the ongoing lawsuit over the proposed methadone clinic.
U.S. District Judge D. Brock Hornby wrote in his finding that the town has not yet satisfied a critical condition of a settlement agreement.
"We've waited a year and we're back to square one," McKee said.
The original location of the proposed methadone facility — the brick school — was set to be demolished following voter approval at a special town meeting Sept. 6.
McKee said if the school is destroyed, the town could be "potentially liable." He added that "he doesn't know" if CRC will attempt to have the facility at the school location.
Town Manager Grant Watmough said the select board has put the demolition of the school on hold, but that the asbestos has been removed from the building.
Watmough said the planning board has accepted the proposal for the clinic on Short Street in a building owned by Robert Emery. The issues has been appealed by neighbors opposing the clinic and the board of appeals will meet Thursday, Oct. 4 with attorney William Kelly to review that appeal.
The select board will meet with town attorney Partick Mellor Wednesday, Oct. 3 in an executive session for legal counsel.
The parties had previously negotiated a tentative settlement agreement under which CRC would abandon plans for the former elementary school and the town agreed to grant the needed permits.
CRC's federal lawsuit against the town over the blocking of the methadone clinic remains active. The town had previously agreed to settle the case with CRC for $320,000, but the point of contention was a memorandum of understanding signed at the time stating that the town would grant the company the needed permits.
"All bets are off now," said McKee.
Courier Publications reporter Juliette Laaka can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 118 or via email at JLaaka@courierpublicationsllc.com.