Pubdate: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Source: Bangor Daily News (ME)
Copyright: 2004 Bangor Daily News Inc.
Author: Dawn Gagnon
Bookmark: (Methadone)
Bookmark: (Treatment)


BANGOR - Maine Square Mall tenants are banding together to fight a 
methadone clinic proposed for the strip mall by a Florida-based operator of 
substance abuse treatment centers. Officials from the dozen or so 
businesses at the mall are meeting Friday morning at Quiznos Subs, the 
clinic's soon-to-be next-door neighbor, to discuss their options and 
determine a course of action, Quiznos owner Walter Cirone said Wednesday.

That action might include a petition, but to whom the tenants have yet to 

A representative of the Florida business, Colonial Management Group, will 
be at the Bangor clinic site Nov. 22 to meet with the clinic's future 

City officials have set Nov. 29 as the tentative date for a public meeting 
with Colonial officials.

Mall tenants are worried that the methadone clinic proposed by Colonial 
could attract drug dealers, lead to loitering in the parking lot, put at 
risk the teenagers and young adults who work at and frequent the mall, and 
worsen the parking crunch that already exists at the busy East Side strip mall.

They also are concerned that the methadone clinic - and the police presence 
that may come with it - will deter customers, which will hurt the bottom 
line of their businesses.

If a second clinic must open here, they said Wednesday, it should locate in 
a medical setting, like the one that opened at Acadia Hospital more than 
three years ago.

"Nobody wants it in here," Cirone said Wednesday. "[Treatment for 
addictions] is a good thing, yes, but it has to go somewhere else. In a 
medical setting, the risks are a lot lower."

City Manager Edward Barrett, Council Chairman Frank Farrington and City 
Solicitor Norman Heitmann all said Wednesday they've received no telephone 
calls on the issue, other than from the media, since it came to light last 

"I think the zoning permits this, and there's nothing we can do about 
that," Farrington said Wednesday, adding, "The owner of the mall can lease 
to anyone he wishes."

He said the clinic's plans "caught us completely by surprise. We're trying 
to check these people out, but we can't get the word out until we know more."

"I think that there's a lot of misunderstanding out there, and I'm going to 
address it if they just give me a chance," Lynn Costigan, Colonial 
representative, said Wednesday in a telephone interview. "I'm willing to 
work with people."

Cirone said he is unhappy with the retail center's out-of-state owner, 
Bangor Realty Limited Partnership, which could not be reached Wednesday for 

The sub shop owner is unhappy with city officials, whom he said have known 
about the proposed clinic since late September and "sat on it for more than 
a month."

"I'm wondering why they were caught flat-footed on this," Cirone said. The 
entire handling of the matter was "kind of backward," he said.

Heitmann said informing tenants was the landlord's duty. He said the city 
could not prevent Colonial's clinic from opening because it is a permitted 
activity in the city's general commercial districts.

Cirone also is unhappy with Colonial Management, which he said should have 
set up shop in a community not yet served by a clinic.

"They chose Bangor because it gives them a good body count," he said. "That 
concerns me as well."

Other Maine Square Mall business people echoed his concerns.

"It should be, to me, in a medical setting," said Tammy Plante, a manager 
at Strictly Formal, a formal wear rental business at the strip mall.

Costigan said a medical setting was not an option for her. She said she was 
"cubbyholed" into a commercial setting because that's where the city's land 
use code says chemical treatment facilities must go.

Michael Turner, owner of Turner Sporting Goods, is worried about his 
customers, most of whom are teenagers or younger.

"Obviously, everybody is upset about it," Turner said of the clinic. "It 
doesn't have any place in a retail setting."

Staff Sgt. Jay Stevens, a recruiter for the U.S. Marines office, isn't 
anticipating any problems from the clinic or its clients but does wish 
Colonial would locate somewhere else.

"I think they could have picked a better location," he said.

"I don't expect any trouble," the Marine said. "If anyone there gives us 
any trouble, we'll take care of them. It's not like we're going to be over 
there recruiting anyone."

Tammy Plante, manager of Strictly Formal, one of the businesses in the 
Maine Square Mall in Bangor, says she thinks the methadone clinic is fine 
but that it doesn't belong in a business district. She is concerned about 
the impact the clinic will have on already limit parking at the mall.

Mike Turner, owner of Turner Sporting Goods in the Maine Square Mall in 
Bangor, says he is very strongly opposed to a methadone clinic in a retail 
setting. "This type of setting is no place for a methadone clinic," Turner 
said. "People are frightened by it. It should be in a hospital setting."

Marlene Thomas, owner of Marlene's Uniform Shop in the Maine Square Mall in 
Bangor, is concerned about the impact the methadone clinic will have on her 

Tammy Hancock, assistant manager of Marlene's Uniform Shop in the Maine 
Square Mall in Bangor, says she is concerned about the methadone clinic and 
plans to attend Friday's meeting of mall business owners.
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MAP posted-by: Terry Liittschwager