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Fergus Falls center needs attention

ST. PAUL - The state needs more than $5 million for the Fergus Falls Regional Treatment Center whether it is torn down or sold, a Minnesota official says.

ST. PAUL - The state needs more than $5 million for the Fergus Falls Regional Treatment Center whether it is torn down or sold, a Minnesota official says.

Michael Tessneer of the Human Services Department told a Senate committee Tuesday that if the Kirkbride building is not demolished as had been planned, the state needs to improve the facility so it can be sold. State and local officials should know late this summer or early fall if there are any proposals for the building worth considering, he said.

Sen. Cal Larson, R-Fergus Falls, said he is optimistic a new use will be found for the center - which for more than 100 years has housed programs treating mentally ill Minnesotans. Much of the Kirkbride complex should be torn down, but the central tower should be saved, he said.

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