Cazenovia sets forums on proposed recovery housing

US&J FILE PHOTO

The Switzer building on Davison Road. Cazenovia Recovery is pitching a plan to convert the building, which once housed the Niagara County Department of Social Services, to a residential facility for women recovering from drug and alcohol abuse disorders.

Cazenovia Recovery will hold public forums Thursday and June 18 on its plans to convert the Switzer building into a housing facility for women and families recovering from drug and alcohol abuse disorders.

Cazenovia is in talks with the Mulvey Construction affiliate LHC Holdings to develop the 103-year-old building on Davison Road into 40 studio apartments, including 20 that would be set aside for residents in recovery. 

Nearby residents are encouraged to attend the forums, set for 7 p.m. Thursday at DeSales Catholic School, 6914 Chestnut Ridge Road, and 7 p.m. June 18 at the Dale Association, 33 Ontario St.

Mayor Michelle Roman and 5th Ward Alderman Rick Abbott have criticized the proposal, saying it violates the terms of the purchase agreement between LHC and Niagara County.

“Residents want it to be kept residential,” Abbott said previously. “That was the most common theme for the people (in that neighborhood). They want it to be consistent with what the neighborhood supports.”

Cazenovia, which operates several recovery homes in Niagara County, said the services are “desperately needed in Lockport.”

“In the midst of the opioid crisis, we’re doing everything we can to help our communities heal,” Cazenovia wrote in a Facebook post announcing the forums.

The forums will include a presentation by Cazenovia, followed by a question-and-answer session. 

Abbott on Tuesday questioned Cazenovia’s outreach to promote the forums.

“None of the people I spoke to had received any notification from Cazenovia,” he said.

Cazenovia spokesman Edward Cichon said their outreach included emails to nearby residents and social media posts.

The proposal is pending the annexation of portions of the Switzer building from the town into the city. Officials for both the city and town say they support the annexation.