CARO, MI – About 2,000 residents have signed a petition opposing the halt of state funding to build a new psychiatric hospital to replace the Caro Center, where residents go for help with mental and behavioral health needs.
“The primarily the goal is for the governor to see the outpouring of support that the people associate with the Caro Center,” Republican state Rep. Phil Green said of the petition.
According to a news release, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration announced a halt to the $115 million construction project that was approved by former Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration. The project had already broken ground with $3 million spent on the project.
The state has concerns about staffing, the ability for patients’ families to be involved in their treatment and water accessibility, according to a release from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
The center contributes $53 million and as many as 747 local jobs to the regional economy.
Green said in a little over 10 days since the petition began, about 2,000 people have signed the petition. While there is no signing goal, the aim is for the residents to get their voices heard.
“It’s been there 105 years as a state hospital,” Green said, adding he feels because the care facility isn’t in an urban setting it might not be seen as important. “There’s not a better place (to get well) than in the country setting, looking outside and seeing the deer and turkeys. It’s ideal.”