The Manhattan City Commission may approve funding for a mental health professional to interface with law enforcement and the community.
“It’s not just Pawnee Mental Health or the PD that’s asking for this position, it’s the community that’s asking for this position,” said Jeremy Boyle, director of crisis services for Pawnee Mental Health.
During Tuesday Night’s fourth 2017 budget work session, Riley County Police Director, Brad Schoen said mental illness cannot be ignored.
“I’ve been saying for years that ultimately it was going to come to this point where communities are going to realize that they have to do something about the issue.”
Pawnee Mental Health initially submitted the request to the Special Alcohol Fund Advisory Committee, who rejected the request due to budgetary concerns.
However, the Commission reached a general consensus Tuesday night that the position is important for the safety and well being of the community.
The Commission also directed City Staff to publish a proposed mill levy increase of 1.5 mills for 2017 before a public hearing on the City Budget is conducted on August 16th.
“Once we publish, we can go down in our mill levy but we cannot go up,” said Hillary Badger, assistant director of finance.
If Tuesday night’s discussion is an indication of things to come, then the milly levy increase for 2017 may be closer to one mill.
The budget will be finalized in early September.