Caro Center expansion receives conference report approval

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Mike Green and state Rep. Ned Canfield on Tuesday announced that Caro will be home to a new regional psychiatric hospital.

“Today’s announcement that the new state hospital will be constructed at the site of the current Caro Center is a direct reflection of the strong community support for this facility,” said Green, R-Mayville.

The Capital Outlay portion of the fiscal year 2018 budget will include both planning and construction authorization for a new state hospital at the existing Caro Center location.

The state was considering a new location for this facility, but Green and Canfield were successful in keeping the expansion in Tuscola County.

“The Caro Center has been providing top-notch care for over 100 years, and with over 350 full-time employees, it is a critical employer in Tuscola County,” said Canfield, R-Sebewaing. “Moving it would devastate the county’s economy and make receiving proper treatment significantly more difficult for many patients.”

The lawmakers point to data that shows more than 80 percent of the center’s patients come from a bordering county, or from the south and east, which is still considered to be a reasonable driving distance. Data also shows about a third of the facility’s employees live in a Caro ZIP code and over 70 percent of workers live within 30 miles of the Caro Center.

“I want to especially thank Rep. Canfield for his tireless work in making sure this got done,” Green said. “From Tuscola County and beyond, we would like to personally thank all who contacted the governor to express their commitment to keeping Caro Center.”

Canfield echoed Green’s sentiments.

“I would especially like to thank the governor for listening to our constituents and agreeing that the present location is best for the new facility,” Canfield said. “This was a true example of a representative government working for the people.”

House Bill 4323, which includes the project language, will now go before the Senate and House of Representatives for a final vote.