Detox to remain open to all |

Detox to remain open to all

Heather McGregor
GSPI Managing Editor

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Colorado West Mental Health Inc. will not close the doors of its downtown Detox Center this weekend to towns, counties and hospitals in the region that haven’t yet contributed to the center’s operating costs.

Earlier this month, agency officials said they would turn away clients from non-paying entities starting March 15.

But on Thursday, Colorado West executive director Ken Stein said the agency expects to bridge the immediate funding gap with subsidies from other agency programs, and obtain full funding from towns, counties and hospitals by January 2004.

“Nothing draconian is happening Saturday, and it would not happen without significant notice,” Stein said.

Colorado West sought signed agreements and funding promises from town governments, Garfield, Eagle and Pitkin county governments, and hospitals in Rifle, Glenwood Springs and Aspen to cover $232,000 of the detox center’s operating costs.

Stein noted that Colorado West was late in making its funding requests last year, after most of the entities had established their budgets for 2003.

Now, he said many of those entities have signed contribution pledges or are in the process of signing such agreements.

“Virtually none have closed the door on our discussions,” Stein said. “I’ve been impressed with how open everybody has been, even those that are struggling financially.”

His hope is to win support early for full funding when the towns, counties and hospitals draft their budgets for 2004.

In the meantime, Stein said he will recommend that the Colorado West board of directors find a way to offset detox losses until more funding comes through next year.

The detox funding question will come under review at an April 16 meeting of participating agencies.

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