Sun. Dec 3rd, 2023

Despite all the legal ramblings that have delayed a methadone clinic from operating in Blair County, Allied Medical Services, Inc. President Stephen Shaner is still optimistic the clinic will be treating patients in the near future.
“There’s really just a lot of legal things we need to work through, but ultimately, it will happen,” said Shaner this morning. “People need to realize that there definitely is a need here. Just look at how any people are dying because of heroin use. I’m not saying we could stop all these, but we can provide the treatment they need to fight their addictions.”
Shaner noted that yesterday, attorneys for his company petitioned Blair County Judge Hiram Carpenter to review Antis Township’s October denial of a permit to install a holding tank for sewage disposal.
Months back, the Northern Blair County Regional Sewer Authority capped the number of available sewer taps for new businesses.
The methadone clinic proposed by AMS would need three taps to operate, or the holding tank the company’s attorneys are fighting for.
Shaner said Carpenter needs to rule on whether the group properly appealed Antis Township Supervisors’ decision to deny the holding facility, then must rule on whether to overturn the supervisors’ decision.
“We know we followed all the proper procedures for the appeal. The presentation on Oct. 2 of the plan satisfied the conditions for a hearing according to the Sewage Facilities Act,” said Shaner.
“This is just another roadblock they are putting out there to delay what we’re doing.”
Shaner said the number of heroin addicted citizens in Blair County is growing, and it’s time to stop punishing the people who want to get help by making them drive to Johnstown to get the treatment they need and desire.
“We have more than 100 residents from up in that area that come all the way to Johnstown for treatment,” said Shaner. “This winter alone, there were two fairly serious car accidents involving residents attempting to drive to get their treatment in bad weather. That alone should be enough to show the need for the service there.”
The battle to bring the clinic to Antis Township began last year when landowner Brinton “Rob” Simington approached the supervisors to make them aware that AMS intended to rent a space on Frito Lane. What followed was a public outcry for both proponents and opponents of the service.
Many residents who live in the area fear opening a clinic would expose the community to an onslaught of drug addicts, which would bring crime and vandalism to the area. Residents who have felt the effect of heroin abuse are contending it’s a definite need to the local population.

By Rick