Lyon County Board
Jerry Bottleberghe and Dr. Maureen Sander-Staudt asked the Lyon County Board on Monday to consider their proposal to build a $2.4 million mental health facility for youth aged 6-13 in Minneota.
In a passion-filled letter to the board, Sander-Staudt emphasized the lack of certified residential centers in Southwest Minnesota that are focused on the mental health of youth.
"This not only makes it harder for young patients to achieve their well-being but burdens families who need to travel long distances to visit and offer support," said Sander-Staudt.
Beth Wilms was asked by the board for her perspective. Wilms is the Director at Southwest Health and Human Services, and explained that children in need of in-patient treatment for mental health are being placed on average stays ranging 9 to 12 months.
Wilms told of one child in particular who is currently placed in the state of Arkansas because high-profile cases involving youth with behavioral issues are not being met locally.
Commissioner Charlie Sanow assured the presenters that he liked the idea, but addressed his concerns on if the county would be able to fully staff and fill the facilities with patients. The return on investment from a cost standpoint was another concern, he said.
The board provided Bottleberghe with suggestions on how he can address other county boards to gain a funding commitment from them before the Lyon County Board could pull the trigger.
"I think the board would agree that we need it," said Sanow. "I’d like to see in the business plan on staff and how to fund this because not all counties will. I would agree this year is not a good year for money. I know there’s a great need. I’m not opposed to what you’re doing."
Wilms responded to the boards concern, “If you build it, they will come.”
In other news, the board:
• Accepted a grant in the amount of $22,000 that was awarded to the Southwest Emergency Communications Board from the State of Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Division of Emergency Communication Networks. This grant is for an improved 911 system called Next Generation 911(NG9-1-1).
• Approved a conditional use permit by Braden French to expand an existing feedlot by adding a hog barn that will house 1440 animal units total.
• Approved the maintenance project of the Garvin Park Primitive Bathroom.
• Approved providing notice to the Office of the State Auditor that the county will continue to utilize a CPA firm to perform the annual audit for 2021 and 2022.
• Approved cash in the amount of $10,000 to be submitted to the Auditor/Treasurer office for the County Ditch #14 project.
• Approved the hiring of two correctional officers, William Giannelli and Jonathan Monterroso, pending a successful drug and physical screening. Starting rate for these positions are $20.01 with an anticipated start date of July 27th.
• Approved the application for a grant and a county match of $5000 to apply towards fixing water issues at Lake of the Hills.
• Approved listing the vacant lot the county owns in Marshall up for sale. The board agreed to list the lot at a sales price of the accessed or previous purchase value, whichever is greater.