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Editorial: County gets a thumbs-up for SWMHC action

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opinion Worthington, 56187
Worthington Minnesota 300 11th Street / P.O. Box 639 56187

For the last several years, a home has been sought for Southwestern Mental Health Center's offices. And, although SWMHC services are utilized by Cottonwood, Jackson, Pipestone and Rock counties -- as well as Nobles County -- it seemed clear they needed to remain in Worthington, especially following the 2010 construction of the Unity House (the new SWMHC residential treatment facility) on the former Central Elementary property.

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What had yet to materialize, though, was a financial commitment from the Nobles County Board of Commissioners to help SWMHC with its office relocation. That commitment may not not have come in full Tuesday, when commissioners unanimously approved a "motion of intent" to support the project through a $500,000, 30-year, 1-percent-interest loan. But the fact that Nobles County is now essentially sitting at the same table as SWHMC waiting for what appears to be a formality of a final SWMHC presentation in November is clearly a hopeful -- and positive -- development.

Other counties are being asked to secure low-interest loans of $150,000 to $200,000 for the facility, and the city of Worthington may also be a contributor. Nobles County dominates in terms of SWMHC service hours utilized, so its higher share only makes sense.

We are hopeful that the final hurdles in getting this project under way can be efficiently cleared.

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