The pieces are falling into place for a regional mental health facility to be built in downtown Savage.

On July 2, the Savage Economic Development Authority approved the sale of city-owned land at 12390 Ottawa Ave. to the Scott County Community Development Agency for $1. Back in April, the CDA requested the city’s partnership in building the facility by donating the land.

Construction on the facility could begin as early as the fall.

The proposed facility is a 16-bed crisis/Intensive Residential Treatment Services facility. In this type of adult inpatient care, clients can stay for up to 10 days in a crisis bed, or up to 90 days in an IRTS bed. The care is focused on helping adult patients integrate back into the community setting during and after experiencing a flare in their illness.

Besides the residential rooms, the facility will offer living spaces, exam rooms, meeting spaces and the potential for providing outpatient care services.

The facility would be owned by the CDA and operated by Guild, Inc. — a nonprofit that provides treatment services to those with mental illness.

The efforts to construct the facility began when a study highlighted a gap in this type of care in the southwest metro.

The project received $1.9 million in funding from the state and will also receive funding from Scott and Dakota counties.

According to City Administrator Brad Larson, the city’s total investment in the land is around $230,000. Since the bowling alley was torn down at that site in 2007, the land hasn’t seen much interest from developers, Larson said.

City staff is hopeful the facility will activate the downtown area, by employing professionals and bringing foot traffic near the downtown businesses.

The site development review process — which takes 60 days — will include a neighborhood meeting to address the concerns of surrounding neighbors. The Savage City Council will also need to approve a conditional use permit for the facility before the plans are finalized.

At the July 2 meeting, no public comments were shared during the public hearing.

“We are looking forward to the next steps,” Savage Mayor Janet Williams said.

Christine Schuster is a reporter for the Savage Pacer.


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