Fort Salonga pushes back against proposed drug and alcohol treatment facility
The Fort Salonga community is expressing concerns over a newly proposed drug and alcohol treatment facility that would be built near people's homes.
Residents say their concerns come from past experiences.
The building was an alcohol rehabilitation facility five years ago, but it closed because of a fire and never reopened.
It's been a rehabilitation facility for 80 years and the new proposed owners want to make it a 50-bed drug and alcohol treatment facility.
"Given its historical success, I see no reason why it will not continue on and help those genuinely in need," says President of Douglas Elliman Commercial Division Michael Murphy.
However, there's been lost of push back from residents who have sent letters to town officials trying to fight the proposal.
"We're trying to prevent this from happening, and what we don't want to see is used needles around with kids. The elementary school is approximately a thousand feet away," says Keith Macartney, president of the Fort Salonga Association.
Murphy says the facility is a hidden property set far back and they are not looking to change or expand upon the footprint.
"There was a reason this was approved and designed and built 80-plus years ago and was a very successful facility," Murphy says.
He says while this is a sensitive subject with the neighbors, he wants to remind people there is an opioid crisis.
Murphy says they intend to build a secured facility with 24-hour supervision and have experts in the field of addiction treatment.
The building is a just a couple hundred feet away from where people live. In years past, when the patients would get locked out, Macartney says they would come knocking on people's doors, harassed them and residents say they do not want that happening again.
"They have no plans to fence the back of the property, to protect the homeowners who live behind there," Macartney says.
Bill Goodspeed lives across the street from the facility and says he understands they want to serve a purpose, but it's nerve-wracking when one lives next door to the facility.
"We're afraid of the traffic and all the other things that could happen, so it's a concern for us," Goodspeed says.
Residents say they would hope to see apartments or single-family homes created instead of the facility reopening.
There will be a town board hearing on the matter in next couple of weeks.