Decision on MAT hearing expected by Dec. 18

Update editor’s note: The hearing for the medication-assisted treatment (MAT) clinic closed on Tuesday, Nov. 24 after press time. A decision by the hearing examiner is expected by Dec. 18. Look for a more complete look at the hearing at the Sequim Gazette’s website and in the next print edition. — MD

Further public comment, rebuttal witnesses and closing comments were scheduled to continue Tuesday, Nov. 24, at a virtual public hearing to consider an appeal of the environmental impacts from the proposed medication-assisted treatment (MAT) clinic.

The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s appeal of city-imposed conditions of the Mitigated Determination of Nonsignificance (MDNS) State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) review began on Monday, Nov. 16. Andy Murphy, the tribe’s attorney, argued against previously imposed conditions by the City of Sequim for the proposed 16,806-square-foot medical facility on 3.3 acres off South Ninth Avenue.

Doctors there would dispense daily doses of methadone, Suboxone and Vivitrol for patients with opioid-use disorder while offering wrap-around services.

Murphy argued against incorporating the tribe’s “Preliminary Medical Outpatient Clinic and Community Response Plan” into the application, and agreed upon conditions that were stricken in mitigation between the city and tribe.

Murphy and City of Sequim attorney Kristina Nelson-Gross questioned Barry Berezowsky, Sequim’s director of community development, and Brent Simcosky, the tribe’s health services director. Michael Spence, attorney for community group Save Our Sequim, cross-examined the witnesses.

Power outages on Tuesday, Nov. 17, delayed interviews to Wednesday with Simcosky, Save Our Sequim chairperson Jodi Wilke and Sequim Police Chief Sheri Crain.

On Nov. 19, interviews continued with Crain and public comment was heard. Spence had to stop at noon that day, so the City of Sequim’s appointed hearing examiner Phil Olbrechts continued the hearing to Tuesday, Nov. 24.

Before power outages delayed the two-day hearing, Olbrechts planned to delay closing the hearing the day after closing arguments due to internet connectivity issues. However, with the hearing extended to Nov. 24, his decision is expected on the appeal within 10 business days after the hearing closes, tentatively on Tuesday, Dec. 8.

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