Douglas County officials to begin hearing public comment on mental health facility

In just a few hours, the Douglas County board of commissioners will be all ears as it opens the floor to public comment on the likely construction.
Published: Sep. 15, 2022 at 2:08 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Thursday evening, the Douglas County Board of Commissioners will begin the process of gathering public input on a new mental health facility.

The county has $55 million in federal COVID-19 relief money to use, and Commission Chair Mary Ann Borgeson told 6 news that the panel is committed to prioritizing treatment for mental health.

It already has hired a local architecture firm as a consultant to come up with options for building a mental health facility. Thursday, the board expects to reveal the initial findings or ideas from that company, then take the public’s input.

People who go to the meeting are likely to hear about two possible options:

  • A single mental health building, in which there would be a treatment area for inmates in one part of the building and a section for the general public on the other side.
  • Two separate mental health facilities: one for people in the community who seek treatment, the other for inmates at Douglas County Corrections.

Thursday’s meeting — from 6-7:30 p.m. at Metropolitan Community College, Fort Omaha Campus, 5300 N. 30th Street, Building 22, Room 201A — is the first of four public input meetings that will take place over the next month. Other upcoming meetings:

  • Monday, Sept. 19 at Metropolitan Community College, South Omaha Campus, 2909 Edward Babe Gomez Ave., Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CAM) Building, Room 120.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 4 at the Douglas County Extension Office, 8015 W. Center Road, Room A&B.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 18 at Douglas County West Campus (Fitzgerald Building), 15335 W. Maple Road, Douglas Conference Room.

Borgeson told 6 News on Thursday morning that once the commission receives all the input, members hope to make a decision on how to proceed, such as where to construct such a facility, by the end of the year.