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New developments in the mental health budget crisis

Southeastern Healthcare is looking at a new way to add money to its budget, while people are protesting pending cuts in badly needed services. Southeastern gave the county $5 million to build a new office. Now they are asking for that money back. Southeastern purchased land off Medical Center Drive to hold all of it's offices and the County Health Department. Southeastern Health Care now wants its money back. Last year, the organization spent $12 million, which was $4 million over budget. This year the budget is $8.3 million. If the county refunds the $5 million, the money would temporarily fund the growing demand for mental heath services. County manager Bruce Shell said, "But our bigger issue is a service delivery. The state is not providing the money that it takes to operate the service. That being the case, we have to put off plans for construction in to operations. This is only a one year fix." Shell will meet before county commissioners at the next commissioner meeting to request the money for southeastern healthcare. If the county commissioners give the money back to Southeastern, it will postpone development on the joint facility with Southeastern and the health department.

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