Board of commissioners discuss crisis facility, ARP during work session

WORTHINGTON – During a work session this week, the Nobles County Commissioners received an update about a proposed crisis center facility from Community Services Director Stacie Golombiecki.

The county was awarded bonding dollars to be used in renovating the former Kid’s Peace facility at the Prairie Justice Center into an 8-bed short-term residential facility for people experiencing a mental health crisis.

The county has made requests for proposals, but have yet to secure an operator for the facility. An operator is required before the bonding dollars can be obtained.

Golombiecki said she had consulted others who launched similar projects, and came to the realization that the county needs to step back.

“We need to find someone who can focus their efforts on this project,” she said, adding that the best option is to garner support for a project manager.

The project needs to be ready to go by Dec 2022, so there is now a focus on getting someone on board who has expertise in business planning and also knows mental health.

The commissioners also had a discussion regarding the latest round of COVID funding – this one known as the American Rescue plan.

According to County Administrator Tom Johnson, the county has virtually no detail about how the new program will work or what criteria are used to fund projects with the money they receive.

They are expecting to see just over $4 million with approximately half of that coming in the next 60 days, and the other half about a year from now.

“All of the funds have to be committed and done by December 2024,” Johnson said.

From the way things sound, this round of funding may be usable for infrastructure – sewer, water and broadband. The details are virtually non-existent, but county staff will continue to watch for more information.

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