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Antler's Park SignA historic Antler's Park Sign at the Lakeville Historical Society.
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Savage Residential Treatment - former site of Dan Patch BowlPhoto 2020.

Plans for mental health treatment center in Savage move forward
Inpatient center in Savage will fill a regional gap. By Erin Adler Star Tribune
April 19, 2019


South metro residents are a step closer to getting locally based inpatient mental health care as plans for a treatment center in downtown Savage advance.

The Savage City Council this week unanimously approved preliminary plans for a $5.5 million facility called Savage Intensive Residential Treatment Services. The center will be designed to treat adults with mental illness for up to 90 days and provide crisis care for up to 10 days.

The shortage of places in Scott, Carver and Dakota counties for people to get help with mental illness has been an issue for years. Health professionals, law enforcement officers and families note that people in crisis often must be transported outstate for a bed.

From 2012 to 2016, Scott County saw a 76% increase in the need for intensive residential treatment services and a 96% increase in crisis care, said Pam Selvig, Scott County Health and Human Services director. She said there is just one intensive residential treatment facility in the three-county area and only about 40 in all of Minnesota.

Scott County Sheriff Luke Hennen said that when patients are taken to places like Duluth or Fargo for treatment, his staff has to retrieve them for court appearances back in the county. The pickups occur early in the morning, he said, and are a "very unproductive" use of their time.

"Sixteen additional beds in the metro here will make a big difference," Hennen said, "but it won't solve the problem."

Savage Mayor Janet Williams has championed the facility, sharing her son's experience with schizophrenia as a way of underscoring the need for it. Plans to locate the center in Savage took shape several years ago.

"They zeroed in on Savage because we met the criteria — it had to be close to transit, it had to be close to jobs," she said.

The city sold the downtown parcel targeted for the treatment center to the Scott County Community Development Agency for $1. The agency will own the building while Guild Inc., a nonprofit that operates a similar facility in South St. Paul, will run the center.

The 16,000-square-foot, 16-bed center will be funded with $1.9 million from the Legislature and a $2.26 million state grant. Dakota County and Allina Health also will chip in to help cover the cost.

"Granted, it is going to be an expensive facility, but the reason for that is it's being built specifically for what it's going to be used for," Williams said, adding that other treatment centers often are located in converted houses.

Several people spoke in favor of the center at a Planning Commission meeting.

"I think a lot of the concerns people have about people with mental illness are based upon what they see on TV," said Kim Churchill, a psychiatric social worker. "Most people with mental illness look like me."

Others voiced concern. Nile Plapp, commander at American Legion Post 643 in Savage, said he objects to the fact that the facility would be about 20 yards from the Legion.

"It seems interesting to me that someone in a crisis … some of it caused by alcohol, would be in a position where within two blocks you've got five places that serve alcohol," he said. He added that he's worried the Legion might have to halt late-night events because patients would be bothered by the lights and loud music.

Williams responded that she believes any future issues with the Legion can be resolved. "We … feel this facility might be helpful to some of the [Legion] members," she said.

Savage resident Gary Skarhus said he feared that a sex offender living at the treatment center would endanger nearby children, but a Guild Inc. representative said its focus is not on treating sex offenders.

At Monday's City Council meeting, former city administrator Barry Stock said he hopes the facility will be a prototype for others in the state and across the country. He said that many societal problems are due to "poor treatment" of mentally ill individuals.

"Not only poor treatment, it's no treatment," Williams chimed in.
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Savage banners updated 2020Savage MInnesota banners, 2020. Prior to 1904 the town was Hamilton.
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Savage banners updated 2020Savage MInnesota banners, 2020. Prior to 1904 the town was Hamilton.
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American Legion 2020Flags atop the American Legion in Savage.
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Hidden Valley SavageThe original fireplace at Hidden Valley in 2020.
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Egan's picnic grounds - Hidden Valley ParkThe original chimney remains at Hidden Valley Park, initially known as Egan's picnic grounds at the Credit River, in Savage.
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Residential treatment facility, Savage opens 2020.September 30, 2020.

The new 16-bed residential treatment facility for people needing mental health treatment and healing is ready to open later this month. This state-of-the-art facility located in downtown Savage is the result of unprecedented partnerships between the City of Savage, Scott County, Dakota County, Allina Health System, and Guild Inc., and will provide much-needed service to our area so individuals can maintain their community and family support systems while receiving treatment. This was the location of the Dan Patch Bowling alley.
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Residential treatment facility, Savage opens 2020.September 30, 2020.

The new 16-bed residential treatment facility for people needing mental health treatment and healing is ready to open later this month. This state-of-the-art facility located in downtown Savage is the result of unprecedented partnerships between the City of Savage, Scott County, Dakota County, Allina Health System, and Guild Inc., and will provide much-needed service to our area so individuals can maintain their community and family support systems while receiving treatment. This was the location of the Dan Patch Bowling alley.
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The Savage FenThirty minutes southwest of the Twin Cities, Savage Fen Scientific and Natural Area (SNA) is an ecological treasury that became almost 70 acres richer in late 2010. Rather than develop his land, local resident, farmer, and former City of Savage parks commissioner Karl Bohn worked with TPL to ensure that his former property adjacent to the SNA would be permanently protected.

The land includes a small portion of calcareous fen - one of Minnesota's most endangered plant communities, seepage meadows, maple and basswood forested uplands, a quarter-mile of the Credit River, and significant habitat for a multitude of fish and wildlife species. The property also provides the City of Savage and Scott County an opportunity to create a regional trail on an existing corridor through the addition that can connect the public to other nearby open spaces and the Minnesota Valley State Trail-a major enticement for Bohn.

Half of the $3 million purchase was made with a grant from the state voter approved Outdoor Heritage Fund as recommended by the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council. Additional funding included approximately $910,000 from the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources, $300,000 from Critical Habitat license plate funds, and approximately $290,000 from DNR bonding funds. Xcel Energy Corporate Citizenship Foundation and Waste Management Corporation also provided financial support to TPL in accomplishing this lasting conservation outcome.
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Dr. Eugene Kuz officeOriginally the office of Dr. Eugene Kuz when he established his practice in Savage.
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Dr. Eugene Kuz officeOriginally the office of Dr. Eugene Kuz when he established his practice in Savage.
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Egan's picnic grounds - Hidden ValleyThis history of Hidden Valley, also known as Egan's picnic grounds, Savage MInnesota. Photo 2020.
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Dan Patch American Legion 2020Dan Patch American Legion downtown Savage 2020.
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Hidden ValleyNative plants at Hidden Valley 2020.
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Windmill CafeThe Windmill Cafe logo, Savage 2020.
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Original Savage State BankBuilt as the Savage State bank, still standing
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Ottawa Avenue in SavageRazors Edge at 12385 is the oldest standing building in Savage, moved from Burnsville around 1902, when it was the Berrisford Store.
Similar photos of this Street from earlier years.
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2020 PandemicSummer Seasonal staff during the 2020 pandemic, City of Savage.
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Savage DepotSavage Depot, summer 2020.
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Egan's picnic grounds - Hidden Valley ParkThe original chimney remains at Hidden Valley Park, initially known as Egan's picnic grounds at the Credit River, in Savage.
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Warren Butler Park 2020Warren Butler Park, Savage.
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The Savage Water towerSavage Water Tower, August 2020, compliments of the City of Savage.
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B P SavageWelcome to Savage, photo 2020.
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Windmill Cafe during pandemicAdditional signage at the Windmill Cafe in Savage. Restaurants can now open during the pandemic with limitations, June, 2020.
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Hidden Valley SavageThe History of Hidden Valley sign, 2020.
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Aerial of Savage 2021Compliments of the City of Savage - aerial view near County Road 42.
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Razors Edge 2021One of the oldest buildings in Savage, moved from Burnsville. The last occupant Jens Bohn's Razors Edge Barbershop shown April 2021.
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Razors Edge 2021One of the oldest buildings in Savage, moved from Burnsville. The last occupant Jens Bohn's Razors Edge Barbershop shown April 2021.
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2021 PandemicSavage Fire Department uniform look includes a mask during covid, 2021 photo compliments of the City of Savage.
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