With a recent report indicating that one in five adults in Larimer County, Colorado is in need of some kind of behavioral health care services, a move is on to build a new facility that would house such services.
Two years ago, a joint project between Larimer County and the City of Fort Collins asked voters to approve a .25 cents sales tax, the proceeds of which would go to build a mental health and substance abuse center.
That proposal was voted down by a 52 to 48 percent margin.
Now an effort is on once again to bring the same question to voters, an effort fueled to some degree by the spring release of the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Alliance of Larimer County report indicating that nearly 54,000 people in a county of more than 300,000 could have some form of mental illness.
To be jointly operated by Larimer County and Fort Collins, the proposed 60,000 square-foot center would most likely go up on a currently vacant 30-acre site near the intersection of South Taft Hill Road and Trilby Road, between Fort Collins and the city of Loveland.
It is thought that the facility would cost nearly $31 million to build, and upon completion, would have enough room to house 64 beds.
If approved by voters in November, the sales tax would be expected to generate between $15 and $16 million annually. Additional funding for both the construction of the facility and its operation would come from State of Colorado and federal sources.
The next step in the long-developing plan will see members of the Larimer County Board of Commissioners deciding whether to put the sales tax question on this fall’s ballot.
By Garry Boulard
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