Editorial: Time to build new SWMHC facilityScott Johnson, executive director of the Southwestern Mental Health Center (SWMHC), has been working for a good portion of the last six years to relocate his agency’s offices.
By: Daily Globe, Worthington Daily Globe
Scott Johnson, executive director of the Southwestern Mental Health Center (SWMHC), has been working for a good portion of the last six years to relocate his agency’s offices.
Johnson, as detailed in Wednesday’s Daily Globe, presented a new plan Tuesday to Nobles County commissioners — one that calls for the construction of a 14,000-square-foot building that would cost an estimated $2.5 million. Johnson also explained the agency is working with Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership, and that “a lot of different folks” will need to contribute for the project to come to fruition.
Johnson said SWMHC has about $100,000 for the project, plans to request $200,000 from the city of Worthington and can obtain financing of around $1 million. That leaves a hole of $1.2 million — one that Johnson hopes to fill through low-interest loans from the counties served by the agency — Cottonwood, Jackson, Nobles, Pipestone and Rock.
Johnson suggested Tuesday that Nobles County will need to commit more funding toward the facility because it has a greater percentage of residents utilizing its programming. This seems only logical. As Nobles County Commissioner David Benson said, “This is where the activity is. It’s hard to argue with that.”
This proposed $2.5 million building — which would be conveniently located next to the SWMHC residential facility in Worthington — is only going to get more costly in years to come. Six years have already gone by. It’s time for all relevant parties to get on board and get this done.