The McHenry County Mental Health Board (MHB) presented its plan for expansion to the public this evening. The program was held in the conference center of the McHenry County College and was attended by approximately 75 persons, including staff of the MHB.
A brief history of the MHB and the building plan were presented by Sandy Lewis, Executive Director of the MHB for the past 4 1/2 years. The McHenry County MHB was established in 1967 after a voter referendum. The McHenry County MHB is one of 66 mental health authorities in Illinois (for some of the 1,400+ townships in 103 counties (Correction: 102)). The role of the MHB is to coordinate the various mental health systems in McHenry County, and it operates with several mandates (see image, top right. Click on the image to enlarge it; then click on the Back button on your browser to return here).
Peter Austin, County Administrator, was on hand to provide information about the low-interest bonding money available, and he also facilitated the Q&A session. Stimulus funds through the Recovery Zone Bond Financing can only be used for "bricks and mortar"; i.e., buildings, not for services. Building the additional space at 620 Dakota Street, Crystal Lake, will not result in an increase in property taxes.
During the Q&A some speakers favored the MHB's decision; others did not or thought this is not the right time.
The next step is for the plan to go to the County's Finance Committee at its December 8th meeting.