CLEAR SPRING, Md. - It was standing room only during Tuesday night's Washington County Commissioner's meeting as residents voiced their concerns about the methadone clinic relocating from Hagerstown and setting up shop in the Everly Plaza near Williamsport.
"I mean who's going to come help us." said one concerned resident. "You know they got bullet proof glass and all this and do I need to wear a bullet proof vest to go to work everyday? What am I going to do to protect my children?"
"I feel that they, the centers should be kept closer to town because it seems to be where all the drug deals are going on. All the police do their very best try to get what drug dealers they have and all but I think they should be kept to where they can be watched," said another concerned resident.
"I'm concerned about the safety," said a concerned resident. "I realize we need things like this but I want to be told that it's going to be safe to live in that neighborhood again."
Some residents said they wanted to methadone clinic to be located closer to the Washington County Sheriff's Office or even a medical facility. Other residents wanted to know what law enforcement officials will do to help patrol the shopping center when the methadone clinic opens.
These concerns come as plans to relocate the center move forward.
Last December, the Planning Commission voted and approved the site plan for medical facility in the shopping center. Then a Building Permit was submitted and that's when methadone clinic first appeared on the treatment center's application.
But some say they didn't realize, a methadone clinic would be moved in. In fact, all five county commissioners disagree with the location of the clinic but they said there's not much they can do.
"One of the appropriate uses may have been a medical type clinic but as far as I was concerned when I heard that I knew I was thinking probably urgent care something like that but no one ever came to us and said there was methadone clinic coming in," said Commissioner William B. McKinley
"But if you think all five of us here, we don't like it, we wouldn't want it in our backyard, we don't support it. We're really sorry we've gotten to this point if you think for one minute that we are going to overstep the law, we're not going to do that. We don't have the authority to shut them down," said Commissioner Ruth Anne Callaham.
The methadone clinic is supposed to open on April 23rd.
No one from Colonial Management Group LP, the company that operates the current clinic, was at the meeting but the county has reached out to them for a meeting about their new location. County officials said the group would take it under advisement.