By MELINDA WILLIAMS
Licensing is almost completed for a “methadone clinic” that will be locating in Pulaski Mall.
Les Saltzberg, director of licensing for Virginia Department of Health and Developmental Services, said Friday, “It looks fairly likely they’ll be licensed within a few weeks.”
That clears the way for Pulaski Medical LLC to proceed with setting up the clinic in the mall unit formerly occupied by Pulaski Drugs and New River Valley Community Services. The company has already been advertising for employees.
Gary Gavornik of Easton, Pa. filed with VDHDS in late 2011 for a license to operate the “opioid treatment center.” The clinic will dispense medications, including methadone, to persons with addictions to opiate drugs and pain medications. The goal is to wean the person off the drugs.
The town of Pulaski and Pulaski County filed objections to the clinic with VDHDS. However, since the clinic was consistent with town zoning at the time the application was filed, officials were doubtful they would be able to stop it.
The property’s B-2 zoning allowed medical clinics as a “use by right” in December 2011. Since that time, council has amended the ordinance to require a “special exception,” thus giving the town more control over such facilities in the future.
Pulaski Mall is owned by RAS Properties, which is owned by Robert Strenz, a former member of Pulaski’s Redevelopment and Housing Authority.