Cortland County considers funding for detox center in neighboring county

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Cortland County legislators voted Tuesday on a recommendation to spend $100,000 in county funds to help with costs at the Detox and Stabilization Center located in a neighboring county. 

The 5-2 vote occurred at the Health and Human Services Committee meeting Tuesday, after detox center officials briefed legislators on the provided programs. Legislators will still have to vote on whether to disburse the $100,000 at the Finance and Administration committee meeting, and then at the county legislature meeting later this month.

The center, located in the village of Lansing, is operated by the Alcohol and Drug Council of Tompkins County’s (ADCTC) and provides access to detox and stabilization services, as well as further information on treatments and supports for families and individuals struggling with substance use disorder. Individuals from the nine counties surrounding Cayuga Lake, including Cortland County, can access these services.

The center is only currently offering stabilization programs, as operators continue to battle staffing issues. The stabilization service is for individuals who seek more counseling after a process of detoxification. Individuals in that program stay at the center for about two to three weeks and the center has a 40-bed capacity that is split between residents in the detox and stabilization programs.

The county would use its opioid settlement account to help with the $100,000 sum, which would mostly go to covering staff salaries. It would also help fund a shed and a bedbug tent. 

Emily Parker, ADCTC’s director of marketing and development, was on hand Tuesday to talk to legislators about the project.

“You have to go far in this state before you find another facility that does exactly what we do -- the open access, detox and stabilization altogether,” Parker said. 

Legislature chair Kevin Fitch (R-LD-8) said city of Cortland officials and law enforcement agents have already visited the center and were in full support. He noted he supported the center’s efforts as well.

“They liked it because it was one of the closest areas that they had for treatment,” he said. “We did not have to put money down for our residents to use the center. Tompkins County did, they (made this possible) and we are benefitting from it.”

Local service providers have already been briefed on the center’s programs in order to start referring county residents. 

“I have said this before, but Cortland County has been exceptionally engaged and supportive gathering information and contributing information to our center,” Parker said.

The final vote on supporting the center with $100,000 in funding will take place at the  legislature meeting on Aug. 24.