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Niagara County plans 20-year Northpointe Trott lease

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Thu, May 18th 2017 08:45 pm
Legislator Becky Wydysh speaks at a press conference with U.S. Rep. Chris Collins, R-Clarence, last month.
Legislator Becky Wydysh speaks at a press conference with U.S. Rep. Chris Collins, R-Clarence, last month.
Public hearing set for June 20
By Christian W. Peck
Niagara County Public Information Officer
Niagara County lawmakers unanimously passed key enabling legislation Tuesday that will allow the county to sign a 20-year lease with the Northpointe Council, which operates a medical facility in the county's Trott Access Center.
The agreement - subject to a June 20 public hearing - will provide a stable, long-term pact that keeps Northpointe operating its methadone clinic at its present site, and avoids a proposed relocation that had drawn criticism from some parts of the community.
Under the terms of the proposed lease agreement, Northpointe would operate at Trott for at least 10 years, before having an opt-out provision. County leaders stressed they hope to see Northpointe remain in place for the full lease and beyond.
"That we have a 20-year lease on the table is a remarkable thing," said Legislator Becky Wydysh, R-Lewiston, who chairs the county's opioid taskforce. "This marks 20 years of certainty for those of us working to battle the scourge of addiction in our communities, and it marks 20 years of certainty for other neighborhoods in our county."
Wydysh noted that, after Northpointe officials expressed concerns about being able to stay at the county-owned site due to space needs, county leaders had worked an aggressive timetable to redesign and increase the space available.
"The Trott Access Center is an optimal site, reconfigured for this tenant's needs, and our county manager and Buildings and Grounds department have done good work making that a reality," Wydysh said. "I also appreciate the candor from city leaders in Niagara Falls who reached out to the county and asked us to work with them to find an acceptable solution after they expressed some reluctance to seeing Northpointe relocate (to another Falls neighborhood). Working in partnership with our county's municipal governments always yields better solutions."
Wydysh, who sponsored the lease legislation with Majority Leader Randy Bradt, R-North Tonawanda, noted the treatment offered by Northpointe is critical given recent public concerns about the opioid addiction crisis impacting both the nation and Western New York.
Bradt echoed Wydysh's praise for the move Tuesday night.
"Residents and businesses near (a proposed alternate site Northpointe was contemplating leasing) expressed their opposition, and that's understandable," Bradt said. "In light of those concerns, this government heard those residents out - and Northpointe, as well. We listened to them explain the inadequacies of their present space, and we set about remaking the space in a manner more suited to their long-term needs. And long-term really is the key word here."
The full Niagara County Legislature will vote on the lease following the June 20 public hearing.

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