Clay County receives $5 million grant to help build regional substance abuse center
Site hasn't been finalized, but new structure could cost $12 million.
MOORHEAD — A $5 million state grant is helping to get the ball rolling on a new possibly $12 million regional substance abuse crisis facility in Moorhead.
Newly selected Clay County Commission Chairwoman Jenny Mongeau said they have been looking at such a center for three years, but financing was always the holdup.
The commission on Tuesday, Jan. 18, unanimously agreed to a resolution accepting the Department of Human Services grant to design, construct, furnish and equip the center.
Clay County is looking at ways to complete the financing for the project, which they have agreed to do.
Mongeau said they will be looking for partners to join in the project, although current Clay County Detox Center Director Troy Amundsen said talks with others haven't yet been underway.
She said they could possibly use opioid settlement money or possibly COVID relief funds to also help with the cost.
The current 16-bed detox facility in the Human Services Building on the county campus in north Moorhead is problematic, said Mongeau, as they need more space and the location isn't ideal.
She said they are looking at a new building on the county campus or possibly on other land they purchased from the city of Moorhead in the northern part of the city.
The need is increasing for such a facility, Mongeau and Clay County Detox Director Troy Amundsen said, about expanding services and providing more beds.
Amundsen said they are looking at doubling the size of the facility to 32 beds.
This past year, they served 1,542 clients from the northern border of Minnesota to the southern border, Amundsen said, as they are often asked if there is an open bed. Most of the clients, however, are from the more immediate region.
The facility, with 24-hour nursing services, serves people with both alcohol and drug problems, including those with opioid addiction issues.
Mongeau said she looks forward to a program at the center to help more people "ease their pains."
She said after detoxification that they hope in the new center to expand operations to assist clients in finding additional services to help them through their substance abuse problems.
Amundsen said there used to be detox centers in Fergus Falls and Crookston, but both have closed. He said the nearest other facility in Minnesota is in Park Rapids.
It's not known yet when the project can get underway as a contract with the DHS must be finalized first. Then there are the financing and location decisions.
"There's a lot to be done yet," Amundsen said.