The latest controversy in Medina illustrates how visibly the state’s heroin addiction crisis has seeped into Main Street America. At issue is a proposed addiction support center planned for a vacant restaurant near Public Square on West Liberty Street. The old Medina Steak & Seafood building, one of the oldest buildings in Medina, is located within the purview of the Bankers Row Historic Neighborhood Association, and neighbors in the area aren’t keen on welcoming a facility associated with former and struggling opiate addicts.
Bankers Row representatives have also pointed out a desire to preserve the building’s historic legacy.
Medina County Chief Probation Officer Veronica Perry secured a $300,000 grant from the state’s Department of Rehabilitation and Correction to fund the center. From the jump, county commissioners were on board with the plan, hailed as a monumental step forward in Medina County’s struggle against the deepening heroin crisis.
The idea is to offer classes and vocational workshops — footholds for addicts who are seeking a productive future. The proposed former restaurant building, naturally, comes with a kitchen set-up for work training programs.
But even with county support, the neighbors on and around West Liberty Street had yet to be informed of what was planned.
City Councilman Bill Lamb indicated
to the Medina Gazette
a willingness to find some sort of middle ground here: “My objective is to support these neighborhoods. These people have a legitimate concern. It needs to be addressed. … I’m convinced there’s a way to do this.”
City officials will discuss the matter with Bankers Row reps tonight at City Hall. Ohio Citizen Advocates for Addiction and Recovery will host a meeting at noon on Wednesday at the city’s Fire Station No. 1.