Monday, June 17, 2024
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Methadone Clinic Proposed For Putnam Property

A proposal has been submitted for a methadone clinic in Putnam County, just outside of the Cookeville city limits.

Cookeville Economic and Community Development Director Jon Ward said a notice of intent to apply for a certificate of need was published on May 15. He said the notice identified 1805 Burgess Falls Road as the potential location for a non-residential, substitution-based center for opioid addiction. He said the property would not be subject to the city’s zoning code.

“At the February 26, 2024 meeting, the Planning Commission denied a request to rezone property located at 1225 South Willow Avenue from CI Commercial Industrial Mixed-Use to MS Medical Services for the potential location of a non-residential substitution-based treatment center,” Ward said.

Ward said the planning commission made a recommendation for a zoning amendment at its March meeting. On Thursday, Cookeville City Council amended the zoning code by deleting current provisions for methadone and similar facilities and adding provisions for regional medical services as a special exception, or use permitted upon appeal, in the Medical Services Zoning District.

Concerned Putnam County resident Connie Bellamy said her years of healthcare experience lead her to strongly oppose the addition of a methadone clinic in Putnam County.

“The treatment to me, and I’m sorry, and I’ll hush, is akin to the same FDA regs that said it’s okay to give hormones and surgical or medical groups that change their definitions from gender dysphoria to gender-affirming care, and say it’s okay for a child that cannot drive to make the decision and change their body,” Bellamy said.

She said people take doses of methadone at facilities like this one and are permitted to leave the facility and drive home. She said the proposed Burgess Falls location is next door to a youth sports facility and across the street from a church.

“The county has no zoning requirements,” Bellamy said. “This facility will not even have to get a business license, and I truly am praying that county leadership and all residents educate themselves about methadone and how methadone clinics function.”

She said clinics also have FDA approval to give methadone to pregnant women.

“You have to think about those things,” Bellamy said. “Just educate yourself. Decide, do you want it in your neighborhood, across from your church or near your children?”