‘Fuller’ update on behavioral health crisis center is coming in 2 weeks, Douglas County administrator says

photo by: Austin Hornbostel/Journal-World

The Douglas County Commission had a brief meeting Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023.

While the Douglas County Commission didn’t have much to take care of at its meeting this week, it did learn that an update about the county’s yet-to-open behavioral health crisis center is on the horizon.

Douglas County Administrator Sarah Plinsky told commissioners that county staff is planning for a “fuller” update about the progress of the Treatment and Recovery Center of Douglas County to appear on the Feb. 8 meeting agenda, two weeks from now.

If that update takes place as planned, it’ll be the first public update about the TRC in nearly two months. The last update — which took place Dec. 14, 2022 — was a lengthy one, and it included Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center stepping forward and indicating serious interest in running the facility. Bert Nash submitted a long list of materials — including items such as budgets and a phased opening plan — to the county at the same time, part of a list of outstanding obligations the county needed to see handled before choosing an entity to play the role of operator. Since then, Plinsky has commented at multiple commission meetings that county staff was still working its way through those documents.

“That would be a regular agenda item on the Feb. 8 meeting where we could report out on deliverables met and what deliverables are still outstanding that we’re working on, and timelines for developing the operating agreement,” Plinsky said. “I envision that conversation, initially, will be led by county staff, but Bert Nash staff and TRC staff, if they have questions or updates to give, they could do that as well.”

Plinsky told the commission she continues to meet weekly with Bert Nash staff, and county staff is finally nearing the end of its review of the materials the agency submitted for consideration in mid-December.

Besides the update from Plinsky, commissioners approved a consent agenda with 11 items, including a blanket contract for 2023 legal services with county counselor John Bullock and an agreement with the Kansas Department of Transportation to treat noxious weeds on state highways in Douglas County.


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