Testimony being heard Monday in Discovery House case

CLEARFIELD – More testimony will be held Monday afternoon on whether Discovery House in Pike Township can continue to occupy two trailers. The structures have been in use by the methadone treatment facility since a January fire.

Attorneys for Clearfield County, the Clearfield County Planning Commission, Pike Township and Discovery House were before Clearfield County Judge Paul E. Cherry Monday to argue on whether an injunction should be issued that would allow Discovery House to continue using the trailers.

Carlton Strauss, attorney for Discovery House, said conflicting dates have been reported as to when a temporary permit that has allowed the use of the trailers expire. The most commonly reported date is Monday, however, Strauss said the date is actually July 27.

Strauss filed the injunction stating that the process through which Discovery House must go has been derailed, and the facility should not be limited by Act 10 of 1999, which prohibits a methodone treatment facility from being located within 500 feet of specific land uses. In the case of Discovery House, the facility was found to be within 500 feet of Rails to Trails, a public park, and a residential area, as determined by the Clearfield County Planning Commission.

Discovery House has been in operation since March 2003, but a fire in January rendered their original building unusable. The company applied to the planning commission to build a new structure.

Currently the clinic has 215 patients, but an additional 400 to 500 are on a waiting list.

Monday’s proceedings came into being very quickly, with Monday’s hearing being scheduled on Friday and media outlets not learning of it until Monday morning.

Ken Tressler, program director of the Pike Township facility, said if the local clinic is closed, many of the patients being treated there will have a difficult time finding new places to be treated. Eighty percent of the patients at the Pike Township facility are covered by Medical Assistance, and many clinics do not accept the insurance as payment.

GantDaily will provide an update Monday afternoon on the matter of the Discovery House. In addition, the Clearfield County Planning Commission is also meeting Monday at 7:30 p.m. Another issue regarding Discovery House was slated to be on the agenda, however the judge’s ruling could negate the planning commission’s agenda item.

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