TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - For the first time since becoming mayor, Wade Kapszukiewicz broke a tie vote in City Council Tuesday night.
There is a need for more opioid treatment facilities in our city. Without them, people are dying every day. The problem?
Many of the treatment centers already built are in the same part of town. In fact, they're so saturated in one area that it violates city code having them less than 500 feet apart.
"We have done our share. The simple fact is, that the city council and the mayor have failed to enforce the law," said David Neuendorff, who lives in the Old West End.
The city council voted for both a zoning change and a special use permit to get this done ended in a 6 to 6 tie vote.
"I voted to support this facility opening, but it is my intention to take a hard look and find out how we spread these facilities throughout the city of Toledo and make them accessible to more people," said at-Large City Council member, Nick Komives.
The mayor broke the tie and voted for the opening of this facility.
"I think there is some wisdom to making sure that, even after we move forward and even after we approve this particular facility, that we do pause and reflect and try to study what's going on," said Toledo Mayor, Wade Kapszukiewicz during the meeting.
The new facility will be on the 2300 block of Jefferson Avenue, near Collingwood in the Old West End.
Out of the 40 facilities so far, 23 of them are located in District 4. Neighbors are pushing back due to the fact there are plenty of other places around town without many or any treatment facilities at all.
"They should be all over the place. They should be in every neighborhood. All the drug addicts are not from our neighborhood. all the people needing treatment aren't from our neighborhood. They're coming from all over, but they're all ending up here." Neuendorff said. "There are shopping centers all over with lots of spaces that are open. The simple fact is that it's convenient for them. It's just not good for the city."
The facility can hold 16 residents at a time for up to 6 months each. It will be for those who have already completed detox and allow residents to live and also receive treatment in the same place, and is expected to open within 90 days.
The hope is that if places like this are successful in reintegrating former addicts into society, the need for them will lessen over time.