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  • Writer's pictureCharlene Sims, Journal staff

Mental health center requests county ARPA funds

MOUND CITY – On Monday, June 20, the Linn County Commission

heard a request for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds from Southeast Kansas Mental Health Center (SEKMHC).

SEKMHC Chief Financial Officer Job Springer presented a request to the commissioners for $217,500 from the ARPA funds.

Springer explained that $93,750 of the funds would be used to replace an outdated electronic health record system and another $46,875 would be used to purchase a new financial network system. In the 1990s system, these were included in the same package.

McCullough asked if this was just for the Linn County office. Springer said it was a 19 percentage of a total cost for the $500,000 system they were purchasing for all the locations.

James asked if SEKMHC had received money from other counties and if it was that much. Springer said that they had received some from Anderson County and it was less because Anderson County’s population is smaller. Linn County’s population according to the U.S. Census as of July 31, 2021 is 9,747 and Anderson County’s population is 7,778.

Springer said that $15,000 would be used to bring the Pleasanton office up to the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) up to compliance.

Then $13,125 would be used for after-hours crisis service and $15,000 would be used for a substance abuse counselor and they would be combined into one position.

James asked if those positions would be discontinued in two years when the money ran out.

McCullough asked if SEKMHC would then be asking to raise their budget to pay for the positions.

Springer said that those positions would most likely continue on. He said this was like start-up money for these positions, and usually as the caseload builds, the positions pay for themselves.

Commission Chair Jim Johnson asked if SEKMHC had received other COVID money. Springer said it did receive some from Allen County and some money directly from the state of Kansas.

James told Springer that the commission had other grants to look at before making a decision.

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