Drug treatment provider announced for Broome Developmental Center

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. - During an event that resembled more of a political rally than a news conference, Broome County Executive Jason Garnar announced Friday the selection of a drug treatment provider for the Broome Developmental Center in the Town of Dickinson

Syracuse Behavioral Healthcare was selected from a number of providers who responded to a Request for Proposals issued in August to offer services inside Building 1, which no longer houses the developmentally disabled.

State agencies offered use of the facility as well as $3 million to get the addiction treatment programs up and running following an extensive lobbying effort by Democrat Garnar and state lawmakers Republican Fred Akshar, Democrat Donna Lupardo, and Republican Cliff Crouch.

Every speaker at the event stressed the urgent need to get the facility up and running as quickly as possible and in a bi-partisan manner to stem the staggering loss of life from our area's heroin epidemic.

"You'd have to have your head buried in the sand for the last five years to not realize we have a major crisis on our hands and that we need help and that we need help now.  And I'm happy to say that help is on the way.  In an era of incredibly divisive partisan politics on the national level, I'm proud to say that the people standing behind me checked the politics at the door and are committed to making this community a better place to live in," said Garnar.

Syracuse Behavioral Health would provide 50 beds for medically supervised withdrawal and stabilization, also known as detox, as well as 50 beds for long term residential rehabilitation.

Garnar says neither service currently exists in Greater Binghamton.

SBH CEO Jeremy Klemanski says that by filling those gaps, his organization can allow patients to stay local while they transition through different levels of treatment.

"What's going to make this work is the community support and working together.  It's very important to SBH that we build strong relationships.  We already have some relationships with some of the providers that we've worked with in the past in this community.  And I have to say, you're really fortunate to have some good services here already," said Klemanski.

Garnar says that the facility could be operational by early next year.

However, a news release this afternoon from the Broome County Legislature Chairman Republican Dan Reynolds threw cold water on the audience's enthusiasm for a speedy opening.

Reynolds says the Republican-controlled legislature, which must approve accepting the state money, has been left in the dark throughout the process and will insist on conducting a lengthy and thorough examination of the proposal and other potential providers before signing on.


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