Carson to vote on regional health district
Nevada Appeal Staff Writer
Carson City could help start a regional health district to manage mental health care and other medical services.
The Board of Supervisors will vote Thursday on whether to send to the Legislature a bill that would allow Carson City, Lyon, Storey and Douglas counties to start a public medical board.
District representatives appointed by counties would have the power to raise sales and property taxes to fund the district.
Mayor Bob Crowell said the district would be more responsive to the people it served than the state. The first concern of the district would be mental health services, he said, but it also could take over or supplement other state services.
The state closed rural mental health care clinics in Dayton and Fernley this summer because of budget problems. The Nevada Division of Mental Health and Developmental Services still runs clinics in Carson City, Silver Springs and Gardnerville.
The district would have to raise about $15 million to take over targeted state services, Crowell said.
This would save the state money and allow counties to protect their services, he said.
The bill could also be used by other rural counties. It allows counties with populations under 100,000 to start single- or multi-county health districts.
The state and counties would have to reach an agreement before the management of any medical service was transferred. No services, employees or wages could be cut because of a transfer.
The state could make cuts to its rural mental health program during the current legislature.
Carson City officials have said they expect to have to absorb costs because of cuts the state has already made.
When the two Lyon County clinics closed in the summer, 92 adult and 31 juvenile clients in Dayton and 58 adults and eight children in Fernley were affected.
Washoe and Clark counties already have state-approved health districts.
Clark County’s health district, the Southern Nevada Health District, provides emergency care, child immunizations, education and other services funded by property taxes, fees and federal grants.
– Contact reporter Dave Frank at email@example.com or 881-1212.
WHAT: Carson City Board of Supervisors meeting
WHEN: 8:30 a.m. Thursday
WHERE: Sierra Room, Carson City Community Center, 851 E. William St.
DETAILS: A copy of
the agenda is at http://www.carson-city.nv.us. Go to the board of supervisors link under the city government tab.