BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson is working to rally support from neighboring communities, for a Crisis Stabilization and Sobering Center. Sheriff Nelson says the final design is taking shape and they've now ruled out modular buildings, as initially planned, "Based on the needs of the center and building design, we decided to go from a temporary structure to a permanent structure. The main reason was to be cost effective for the taxpayers. The temporary structure was going to be a significant investment, and what we decided to do was make that investment in a permanent structure." He tells KBND News, "We found that if we invested money in these temporary buildings, some of the changes that we would’ve had to make to them would have mandated that we keep those buildings."
He says they are narrowing down a location for the facility, "We have a generalized location on the Public Safety campus, which is where the Sheriff’s Office is located. No exact location; we’re still working through that process, as well as the permitting process."
Because Sheriff Nelson believes all law enforcement agencies in the county will use the center, he's hoping police departments in Bend and Redmond will help foot the bill, "Based on that ask, we wanted to go present to the City Councils to garner support for the project. The figures that we’re asking for now, are in proportion to the population base. And, we are going to ask $135,000 of Redmond, approximately; and, we’re looking at around $400,000 from the city of Bend." Those amounts would be paid annually, as part of an estimated $4 million operating budget. Nelson estimates construction and start-up costs will run a little over $2 million. He presented to Redmond’s City Council Tuesday night and plans to give Bend City Councilors an update soon.
"The center’s services are going to offer crisis respite and sobering," says Sheriff Nelson, "We are still working on that financial component to the sobering center piece of this facility, but I think we can get there." He says if design and funding go well, construction could begin in a year.