Erie County interested in NYS funding for opioid center

Posted at 6:28 PM, Dec 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-07 18:28:21-05

Lawmakers in Broome County, its seat is Binghamton, are wrestling with whether or not to accept $2.7 million in funding from New York State to open a drug treatment center. Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says if they don't want it, Erie County sure does.

"If they don't want the money, I think it's fair to say we can go after this," Poloncarz said Wednesday.

But, Broome County Executive Jason Garnar says not so fast.

"We have been advocating for more treatment," explained Garnar. "We think more treatment will really help fight this epidemic."

Garnar is on board with the treatment center. The county legislature is still making up its mind.

The Broome County Legislature is holding a Committee of the Whole meeting to have a chance to question the state agency providing the money, the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, and the selected treatment provider, Syracuse Behavioral Healthcare (SBH).

SBH was selected as the proposed center's treatment provider through an RFP process earlier this year.

The money from NYS will be used for start up costs to get the center operational and other treatment costs. The center in Broome County would be a 100 bed treatment center: 50 short-term detox beds and 50 beds for long-term inpatient treatment.

That special meeting is scheduled for December 27. Legislators could potentially vote whether to accept the state funding later that same day.

7 Eyewitness News has reached out to Governor Andrew Cuomo's office to see what would actually happen to the funding should Broome County reject it, but the office has provided no response at this time.