County supervisors approved a $1.62 million contract Tuesday to renovate a building at Stanislaus Recovery Center in Ceres for a 16-bed mental health center for stabilizing people in crises.
It will help the county limit the skyrocketing costs of caring for patients at Doctors Behavioral Health Center in Modesto and facilities elsewhere. The county is responsible for providing emergency psychiatric care for Medi-Cal recipients and the uninsured.
Those costs are expected to be $11.4 million this year, which is $5.4 million more than what was spent two years ago. In the past year, the number of county patients who are hospitalized has averaged more than 40 per day, double the historic average. Care is more expensive at Doctors Behavioral Health Center because it provides psychiatric and medical care for patients.
Simile Construction Service of Modesto will remodel and reroof a former residential unit at Stanislaus Recovery Center for the new facility. The county hopes to open the facility in March under an operating contract with Telecare Corp.
In closed session, supervisors talked about appointing an interim county assessor. The current assessor, Dave Cogdill Sr., resigned last week to take a job as chief executive officer of the California Building Industry Association. His last day with the county is Oct. 18.
The board first will consider internal candidates for the temporary position and could take up the matter again Oct. 15, said interim county Chief Executive Officer Stan Risen.
The assessor comes up for election in June. Cogdills term was to run through 2014.