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February 20, 2018

Addiction treatment center options focus of group

Under one scenario, the community service board’s mental health clinic would move to this building at 540 Hospital Drive. Dr. Norman Mauroner has offered to move his practice and sell the building, according to County Administrator Paul McCulla.
The McShin Foundation would operate a residential addiction treatment center in this building if the existing clinic moves to another structure.
The clock is ticking. People are dying; we need to step up to the plate. . . . Now is the time when the rubber hits the road.
— Warrenton Councilman Jerry Wood
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
Fauquier officials last week unveiled a plan to establish an overnight residential addiction recovery center in Warrenton and a new home for a state-operated mental health clinic.

Fauquier’s board of supervisors in January discussed a $4-million proposal to demolish the existing Rappahannock-Rapidan Community Services Board building at 340 Hospital Drive and replace it with two-story, 7,800-square-for structure to accommodate the mental health clinic.

The supervisors postponed action on that project to explore the possibility of adding a third floor to the proposed building for a residential addiction recovery center.

But that idea fizzled, partly because the community services board and Richmond-based McShin Foundation, which hopes to establish an overnight addiction recovery center in Warrenton, believed it would be complicated and impractical for them to operate in the same building.

But, County Administrator Paul McCulla then got a call from Dr. Norman Mauroner, who suggested that his family practice building at 540 Hospital Drive might serve mental health clinic’s needs.

For tax purposes, the county values the 9,500-square-foot building and 1.4-acre site at $1.3 million.

Mr. McCulla declined to discuss a potential purchase price but said the physician would move his practice if the county bought the property.

Dr. Mauroner failed to return a phone message seeking comment.

But, the Mauroner proposal could reduce the cost of providing space for the Fauquier Behavioral Health Clinic and an overnight addiction recovery center from about $4 million to $2 million or less.

Under a new plan Mr. McCulla outlined Friday during a three-hour “retreat” on opioid addiction, the mental health clinic would move to the Mauroner building and a residential addiction recovery center would open in the existing RRCSB building.

If the new plan proceeds:

• Fauquier and Warrenton-based PATH Foundation would buy the Mauroner building.

• The county probably would own the building and rent it to the RRCSB for a nominal fee. The state agency would remodel the Mauroner building to meet the clinic’s needs.

• RRCSB would donate its building at 340 Hospital Drive to the county. Fauquier would rent the 7,800-square-foot building for a small sum to The McShin Foundation, or another organization, that would operate a residential addiction recovery program. Constructed in the mid-1970s, the building stands on an acre that the county owns.

To allow a residential recovery center, the existing mental health clinic property would require rezoning and special permit approval by the town council. The one-acre lot has “Residential/Office” zoning and would need “Public/Semi-Public” for the proposed use.

County, Town of Warrenton, RRCSB, PATH and McShin representatives participated in Friday’s opioid retreat.

County Supervisor Chris Granger (Center District), who represents Warrenton, likes the concept.

“It sounds like a good solution,” Mr. Granger told the working group. “It sounds like Mr. McCulla’s got us pointed toward a winner.”

“The clock is ticking,” Town Councilman Jerry Wood (Ward 1) said. “People are dying; we need to step up to the plate. . . . Now is the time when the rubber hits the road.”

Mayor Powell Duggan agreed.

“I think the town is going to be behind this,” Mr. Duggan said.

He will ask the council to “take whatever action’s needed” to begin the process of rezoning the RRCSB site for residential recovery center use, the mayor said in an interview.

The proposal also would require RRCSB approval.

“I think it went well,” Chris Connell, who manages McShin Foundation’s Warrenton counseling office, said of the retreat. “It just brought us all together on the same page.

“I think it brought understanding that the town and county want to work together and follow through on what they said they would do — help us find another location.”

McShin’s proposal to establish a 14-bed addiction recovery center in downtown Warrenton helped to heighten awareness of the demand for such treatment. 

But the town council — citing zoning and the comprehensive plan — on Jan. 9 unanimously denied the foundation’s special permit application to operate a 28-day addiction recovery program at 30 John Marshall St.

Moments before the vote, council members pledged to help establish a recover center in town.

“I know they’re out there,” Councilwoman Linda “Sunny” Reynold’s (At-large) said of alternative sites. “We are all team players. And, I honestly believe we can find a location.”

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