Nonprofit originally formed to run crisis center asks Douglas County for over $1 million in reimbursements for startup costs

photo by: Kim Callahan/Journal-World

The Treatment and Recovery Center of Douglas County is pictured on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022.

The Treatment and Recovery Center of Douglas County has now been operating for more than a month, but it seems there are still some loose ends left to tie up from back before county leaders decided who’d be running the facility.

At Wednesday’s Douglas County Commission meeting, county leaders will consider a request to reimburse LMH Health $1,111,505.80 and Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center $118,045.28 for startup and development costs related to opening the facility. Officially, that request is coming from Behavioral Health Partners Inc., the nonprofit LMH Health and Bert Nash formed with the intent of operating the TRC.

But Behavioral Health Partners’ board of directors decided to step away from consideration to lead the facility in December, and Bert Nash was ultimately selected to run it instead after about four months of negotiations with county staff.

The agenda for Wednesday’s meeting says LMH Health and Bert Nash incurred a total of just over $2 million in expenses, but Bert Nash was able to offset most of its expenses through new revenues that come from its status as a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic. The agenda doesn’t include any specifics about what the costs were for.

County staff is recommending that commissioners approve the reimbursement request. According to the meeting agenda, county staff believes that the remaining money up for consideration this week is eligible for payment with grant funds awarded for the TRC by the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services.

In other business, commissioners will:

• Revisit a request from social safety net agency DCCCA for nearly $60,000 to help improve access to the lifesaving overdose reversal drug naloxone in Douglas County.

Commissioners already considered a funding request from the nonprofit in April, but they chose to hold off because they wanted to see a more fleshed-out plan for how distributing the drug would look and how the money would be spent. The revised proposal up for consideration this week includes an updated implementation plan for the initiative.

• Hear presentations from the Lawrence Chamber and Economic Development Corporation about economic development and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office about staffing and retention.

• Consider agreeing to a recommended financing model for the county’s Emergency Communications Center.

• Consider a Public Works Department request to remove a low-water crossing over Washington Creek along North 1075 Road east of Clinton Lake. The Commission adopted a resolution last month to designate that stretch of road as a “minimum maintenance road” with gates to prevent public travel.

• Consider a pair of temporary business use permit requests — one on behalf of Evergy and the other on behalf of Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline — for “laydown yards,” areas on a construction site where tools, materials, equipment and vehicles may be stored temporarily when not in use.

The Evergy request is for a roughly five-acre property at 1805 East 200 Road near Big Springs. The request is to use the site through Dec. 31, 2026, as the company rebuilds an existing transmission line running from Tecumseh Energy Center — which shut down in 2018 — southeast toward Lawrence.

The other request is for a much larger property about 65 acres in size, located northwest of the intersection of East 1300 Road and North 1900 Road just across the Kansas River north of Lawrence. That site would be used during construction of a 16-inch natural gas pipeline under the Kansas River and through parts of Douglas County from June 21 through Nov. 30 this year.

Wednesday’s meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Douglas County Courthouse, 1100 Massachusetts St. The meeting will also be available by Zoom. For meeting information, visit the county’s website:


Welcome to the new Our old commenting system has been replaced with Facebook Comments. There is no longer a separate username and password login step. If you are already signed into Facebook within your browser, you will be able to comment. If you do not have a Facebook account and do not wish to create one, you will not be able to comment on stories.