Contact: Thomas Hottman
A drone's eye view of the proposed human services campus is seen along South Sixth Street in this photo from June 2015. Construction could begin on a sobering station this summer.
Klamath County Commissioners have dedicated $40,000 to a proposed sobering station as other local groups gather funds to start construction later this summer.
Approved during the commissioners' Tuesday meeting, the $40,000 would come from revenue generated by state beer and wine taxes. The county's Local Alcohol and Drug Planning Committee is responsible for overseeing the funds.
Kiki ParkerRose, director of Klamath County Community Corrections and liaison for the committee, said this was the minimum amount the committee believed would be needed from the county for the project. She said the committee was willing to dedicate as much as $60,000 more, but will wait and see the status of associated grant applications before returning to commissioners with another recommendation.
Parker-Rose said, after the $40,000 is dedicated, around $190,000 will remain of the local beer and wine funds. The revenue has supported other sobriety outreach programs including Operation Prom Night, Hands Across the Bridge and peer mentoring.
Parker-Rose said a groundbreaking for the sobering station is planned tentatively for August, but said this date continues to be a "moving target" as details are worked out among partner agencies.
The sobering station would be among a number of facilities at a planned human services campus on South Sixth Street in Klamath Falls. The complex is intended to be a "one-stop" option for rehabilitation and human services. The sobering station would be the first new construction at the 18-acre parcel since the campus was first proposed last year.
Other funds for the sobering station include $200,000 dedicated by Sky Lakes Medical Center and a possible grant through Klamath Basin Behavioral Health (KBBH), as well as community contributions.
"The sobering station is something the community has needed for a very long time," said Tom Hottman, spokesman for Sky Lakes.
Hospital, jail resources
The goal of the sobering station is to reduce the financial burden on Sky Lakes and the Klamath County Jail, who dedicate a large amount of resources to monitoring and caring for intoxicated individuals. Hottman said, instead of the medical center spending around $2,000 per patient to monitor someone coming down from alcohol or another intoxicants, the sobering station would spend between $40 and $80 per patient.
He said precise figures will be known after those involved in the project decide which operation model they want to use for the station. Groups with the project include the county, Sky Lakes, Klamath Falls, KBBH, Cascade Health Alliance, Klamath Tribal Health and Klamath Works, among others.
Hottman said contractors who built a sobering center that recently opened in Grants Pass are expected to be involved in the project.