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Rosas responds to methadone clinic claims

The possible addition of a methadone clinic continues to be a hot topic in the city of Dunkirk and with elections just around the corner, it is looming even larger still.

“I read what he (Andrew O’Brien) put in there and it’s kind of confusing to me,” Mayor Wilfred Rosas told the OBSERVER, referencing the article “UPMC Chautauqua tried opening clinic, then state stepped in,” that was published in the Oct. 5 edition. “When we spoke before, that was 2017, and basically I met with Vince Horrigan when he was the county executive and I told him, ‘there’s an issue here,’ people were coming, I showed him letters. The county doesn’t have a methadone clinic anywhere and he (O’Brien) says that UPMC wanted to put one in, but if they did, why didn’t they? That was years ago and we still don’t have one.”

Rosas went on to tell the OBSERVER that if UPMC would have kept their application and opened up, Hispanics United would have pulled out of the market.

“I don’t care who the provider is, these services are needed and that’s what I’ve been saying right along,” Rosas added. “I’ve been saying, these services are needed, people are dying. I’m not really concerned with who the provider is and I know we need to find a good site for it.”

According to Rosas, when he and O’Brien met, Hispanics United had already come forward offering to build a clinic in the city. Rosas claims that the group had already reached out to the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services and its commissioner, Arlene Gonzales-Sanchez. Rosas said that UPMC and O’Brien were not first in line.

“Hispanics United was here first,” Rosas continued. “And I said, ‘it doesn’t matter to me who does it, but these services are needed.’ And if they would have opened it, they would have been the ones here and Hispanics United would have been gone. They wouldn’t have opened. So why didn’t they (UPMC) open? That’s my question. I have a good relationship with Mr. O’Brien, but why didn’t he bring this up in 2018 or early 2019? This has been a hot topic, he didn’t say anything, UPMC didn’t say anything. A lot of what he said is true, but some of it was half-truths.”

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