Stepping Stones in NY Mills looks at summer opening
Kevin Cederstrom firstname.lastname@example.org Stepping Stones has a little more red tape to get through before the chemical treatment facility is operational in New York Mills. Bill Lopez, executive director of ShareHouse - the organization behind Sisters Path...
Stepping Stones has a little more red tape to get through before the chemical treatment facility is operational in New York Mills.
Bill Lopez, executive director of ShareHouse - the organization behind Sisters Path in Fargo and the planned Stepping Stones in Mills - said this week they must upgrade the old Mills Motel to meet fire code before submitting its license application to the state. Stepping Stones would treat chemically-dependant women with children.
Following an inspection by the state Fire Marshal, Lopez said they must make overall safety upgrades to the building and install a sprinkler system to meet fire safety code. Once that is complete the Fire Marshal will return for another inspection, and upon approval, ShareHouse can submit the total license package. Lopez is reviewing bids now for the upgrades and anticipates he will award the bid some time next week. He anticipates the work will be complete in 2-3 weeks once a bid is approved and contract awarded.
Confident the license for the facility will be approved Lopez plans on hiring staff and begin training while awaiting word from the state. Once the building is up to code Lopez said the licensure process could take up to 90 days before approval. If all goes will with the safety upgrades and the state approves the license application Lopez tentatively plans to be up and running with clients by the beginning of August.
ShareHouse purchased the Mills Motel in March. Lopez indicated they plan to do some cosmetic work to the outside of the building and at this time does not plan any major renovations to the inside.
The Otter Tail County Commissioners drafted a letter of support for Stepping Stones in early March. The letter acknowledged the need for a womens and childrens program in the county. OTC Human Services approached Lopez about developing a program in NY Mills, modeled after Sisters Path in Fargo. The idea behind Stepping Stones is to treat women with addiction problems while keeping the kids living with their mothers at the facility.
In the March letter of support the commissioners wrote: Otter Tail County supports the development of Stepping Stones in New York Mills and would be willing to contract for chemical dependant services once they have obtained all of the necessary licenses. This is a facility that may also be used by Greater Minnesota, in an attempt to keep families close to their home and communities.
Once Stepping Stones is granted a state license to treat clients, the county commissioners must vote to approve awarding contracts for services.