Series of virtual town halls happening this week on Consumption and Treatment Services site

AM800-News-101 Wyandotte Street East

An opportunity this week for businesses, residents and agencies in downtown Windsor to hear updates and ask questions regarding the local Consumption and Treatment Services (CTS) site.

A series of Virtual Town Halls are being put on by the Windsor Essex County Health unit between January 24 and 26 in collaboration with the CTS Stakeholder Advisory Committee.

The CTS site will be located at 101 Wyandotte St. E., right near Goyeau Street.

The Town Halls will begin with a presentation about the upcoming launch and operations of the site, how safety and security concerns will be addressed, and how businesses can report future concerns or incidents once the site is open.

After that there will be a question and answer period where a panel of expert speakers will respond to any questions or concerns raised.

Eric Nadalin, WECHU's Director of Public Health Programs, says the process began in 2019 when they undertook a comprehensive consultation that essentially gleaned that there was community support for the site.

From there officials moved onto the second phase of consultations which was determining what concerns or questions people would have before they begin operating the site.

Nadalin says this week's sessions represent the third phase of their community consultations.

"The sessions themselves this week is three community town halls. One for downtown businesses, one for downtown residents and one for downtown agencies. So those are those community organizations that may have a vested interest in the operation of the site," Nadalin said.

He says officials will outline their mitigation strategies related to questions and issues posed by affected stakeholders earlier in the process.

On issues like safety they'll explain how security at the building will work, and they will explain their policy of community sweeps and on-site disposal bins related to concerns around discarded equipment in the area.

"So it's really to identify, reflect upon, and address some of the concerns that have been brought up in previous conversations and consultations so that our community is aware of the measures that are in place to address them," he said.

Nadalin says they want to work to address any concerns as the process of setting up and opening the CTS moves forward.

"Our goal is to continue to be engaged with the community, in particular the neighbourhood surrounding the site," he continued. "To ensure that any questions or feedback is heard, is reflected upon and addressed with any concerns mitigated during the ongoing operation of the site into the future."

The site location is settled, with Nadalin saying it will be the home of what will be an urgent public health needs site before provincial funding is received so it can officially be known as a CTS.

"We'll share details at the town hall sessions of the floor plan, the layout, where we're at in the renovation and retrofit process of that space, the permanent name of the site and the measures we put in place related to environmental design."

The sessions will begin at 12 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. 

Anyone interesting in registering to be a part of the event can do so here