Judge Calls Bangor City Ordinance Discriminatory
A judge has ruled that a Bangor city ordinance preventing a methadone clinic from expanding is discriminatory.
Bangor City Councilors voted 7-2 in August to reject a request by the Penobscot Metro Treatment Center to expand its operations on the Hogan Road. The methadone clinic currently serves 300 patients, but sought to add on the facilities to serve an additional 200. City officials determined that, since there are no such treatment outlets north of Bangor, it would make more sense to build there, rather than bringing those addicts to the Queen City.
The city ordinance that was the basis for the city's rejection requires that the decision be based on a few main issues, like whether the property is adequate, can the center hire and retain staff, and is there a demonstrated need for services that would be provided in an appropriate location. Most of the councilors didn't feel that these questions were adequately addressed.
But this week, WABI-TV reports that a judge ruled the ordinance is discriminatory, holding methadone clinics up to special regulations that are not applied to other clinics. The ruling was in answer to the Penobscot Metro Treatment Center's lawsuit against the city after it's decision. The judge also denied an injunction that would have allowed the center to expand, saying that there are other facilities in town with openings, so patients wouldn't go without. However, the center's attorneys are urging city officials to act quickly, and allow the facility to expand.