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  • Tammy L Wells

Green light for York County recovery, training centers

ALFRED, Maine – York County government’s proposed substance use recovery center and separate first responder training center are now a go.


The projects were approved by the Alfred Planning Board on Monday, June 3.


The green light means the county can now seek bids for site work for the two projects, which are to be situated on county-owned property off Layman Way and Route 4. Scarborough-based Landry French Construction is providing construction management services.


“We’re very happy and grateful for the approval,” said York County Manager Greg Zinser of the action taken by the Alfred Planning Board. “We’ll break ground as soon as we can.”


The vote was 4-1, with planning board members Andy Bors, Lee Steele, Michael Gibney and Al Carlson voting in favor; member Dorothy Guinard was opposed. Two board members, Stephen Gile and Owen Brochu, were absent.


There were conditions, among them that the county pay for an Alfred Water District main to be upgraded from the current 8-inch size to 12-inch, that project construction be conducted between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., and that once the 58-bed recovery center is complete, the county would surrender its current 36-bed land use permit for Layman Way Recovery Center.


The planning board rejected a proposal members described as a desire of the Alfred Board of Selectmen that the county pay for a well Alfred Water District is in the process of constructing.


“I don’t know how we can force the county to pay for something that was already planned,” said Gibney.


A lengthy discussion about the part-time nature of the Alfred Code Enforcement Officer work week – set at 3.5 days – and the inspection requirements that go with such large projects led to the county’s offer to fund up to $12,000 to assist the codes officer in the event he needs professional assistance for mandatory inspections. The offer was accepted by the planning board and set as a condition of approval.


The five members of the planning board present unanimously rejected a proposed requirement for a municipal performance bond.


York County attorney Gene Libby pointed out that the projects are being built with federal funds and are, therefore, already subject to federal performance and payment bonds. The county has $39 million, with access to additional funds, if needed, to pay for the projects.

He pointed out that all infrastructure is being built on county-owned land.


“There is no risk to the town that this project will not be completed,” Libby said.


A regional recovery center to combat substance misuse and a first responder training center emerged as top priorities as York County Commissioners began considering options for use of about $40 million the county was awarded through the American Rescue Plan Act in 2021. Commissioners were committed to projects that would make a lasting difference in the lives of York County residents.


The York County Substance Use Treatment and Recovery Center will sport 58 beds – 50 licensed substance use disorder beds offering detox, short- and long-term options  –  and 8 observation beds, allowing for immediate access to care.


The York County First Responder Training Center will offer workforce development for law enforcement, fire services, emergency medical services, and related professions, all close to home.

 

 

 


York County government plans to break ground soon on the new York County Substance Use Treatment and Recovery Center and separate First Responder Training Center off Route 4 and Layman Way in Alfred following approval Monday June 3 by Alfred Planning Board.

 


Alfred town attorney Leah Rachin and Alfred Planning Board Chair Andy Bors are shown here Monday, June 3, as the planning board considered and approved the York County government’s plan to build a substance use treatment and recovery center and a separate First Responder Training Center off Route 4 and Layman Way in Alfred.

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