From MLive: Saginaw County leaders want psychiatric hospital to stay in Caro

By Isis Simpson – Mersha

SAGINAW, MI – The Saginaw County Board of Commissioners is backing plans to reconstruct a psychiatric hospital in Caro as state officials reconsider the $115 million project.

The county board approved a resolution in support of the Caro Center, located in neighboring Tuscola County, on Tuesday, June 18. The resolution will be submitted to the state.

The main reasons Saginaw County is supporting the project stems from accessibility for patients, families and employees, said Board Chairman Michael Webster.

In March, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration announced a halt to the project that was approved by former Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration. The project had already broken ground with $3 million spent on it.

Earlier this year, concerns about staffing, ability for patients’ families to be involved in their treatment and water accessibility caused state officials to delay the project, according to a press release from the MDHHS.

The project is on hold while Myers and Stauffer, an independent consulting firm contracted by the MDHHS, evaluates the process and decision to locate the facility in Caro, said Lynn Sutfin, spokeswoman for the department.

The new hospital was scheduled to be completed in 2021 and serve 200 adults, an increase of 50 beds from the existing facility, according to the press release.

The state and the consulting firm held a listening forum at the Caro Community Schools auditorium on June 13.

The results of the evaluation are planned to come back in June, said Sutfin.

Webster said he understands the governor’s wish to review the project, and hopes progress can still be made to complete the facility.

“How can we repair and fix those issues there? In the same vein be able to continue forward with our efforts to build a new facility there,” Webster said.

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