Detox will stay open

Greg Masse

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Despite considerable losses suffered in 2002, a Colorado West Regional Mental Health Center official said that organization will keep its detoxification center open.

“I don’t think we’re talking about closing the detox at this point,” said Tom Updike, assistant executive director for Colorado West. “But to be frank, we are going to take a shellacking on the last fiscal year.”

The 2002 fiscal year losses could top $100,000, Updike said.

Money for the Detox has been trickling in, and Updike said he’s encouraged by the community’s response to Colorado West’s budget crunch.

“I’ve met with the city councils at Glenwood Springs and the town of Eagle,” he said. “We’ve had lots of conversations.”

At a meeting on the Detox Center’s dire budgetary situation in Glenwood Springs Wednesday, Updike explained to city and county officials and hospital administrators how Colorado West will decide who pays what for the Detox Center in the future.

Updike said Colorado West would be better organized than in the past in billing the towns and hospitals for their share of the service. He also passed out agreements for each municipality and hospital to sign. None, however, have yet signed the agreement.

“I think there’s progress,” Updike said. “I think it’s going to take another year and a half until people really feel comfortable with each other and how the Detox is funded.”

Glenwood Springs Mayor Don Vanderhoof, who attended Wednesday’s meeting, didn’t express quite so much optimism. In December, the city was presented with a bill for approximately $75,000 for 2002.

“Last time they presented it like it was past due,” Vanderhoof said of the bill. “Our position is that we want to help, but we want to answer the question of why we owe so much for last year and how much we’ll owe for this year.”

Vanderhoof also said he thinks “not a whole lot of money is forthcoming” from any of the Detox Center contributors.

“Everybody understands the importance of this, but it’s a very complicated situation,” he said. “I cannot believe Glenwood can come up with the amount of money” Colorado West wanted for 2002.

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