January 27, 2020 — A consent calendar item at last week’s Board of Supervisors meeting led to a public discussion about plans to build a mental health facility using a combination of Measure B and state grant funds. The board eventually voted unanimously to approve a resolution to develop a Crisis Residential Treatment program (CRT), on Orchard Street in Ukiah, though Supervisors Ted Williams and John McCowen were initially dubious about what they perceived as gaps in the plan.
At stake is a half million dollar grant from the California Health Facilities Financing Authority, or CHFFA, which has told the county that the CRT must be built on that location.
Tammy Moss Chandler, director of the Health and Human Services Agency, said the initial estimate of $5 million to build the CRT by Nacht & Lewis, the contractor who has been hired to design mental health facilities in the county, was based on an earlier plan to build a combined CRT and Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU) on the property. That possibility that is still not entirely out of the question.
Meca Ferretta, the vice-chair of the Behavioral Health Advisory Board, told supervisors she thinks the resolution is in keeping with the first recommendation of the Kemper Report, which the Measure B Citizens Oversight Committee commissioned as its very first action item, after voting in a chair and a vice chair. Moss Chandler assured the board that she expects the operation of the CRT to have no impact on the county’s general fund, and that the CRT is not subject to the same strict regulations that govern the CSU. Williams reiterated that he does not believe Measure B will generate enough revenue to operate a CSU or a Psychiatric Health Facility, the two other types of facilities that are at the top of the county’s list of priorities for Measure B funds.