Jackson County commissioners to vote on mental health, YMCA, cats

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JACKSON COUNTY, Mich. (WLNS) – The Jackson County Board of Commissioners is taking care of business Tuesday night, voting on several key issues.

Commissioners are set to make decisions on mental health, a new YMCA, and cats.

It’s a controversial question.

Should taxpayer money be used to build a new facility for the Jackson YMCA?

Commissioners will decide if a millage to do just that should go before voters on the May ballot.

The YMCA says a new building is needed so they can better serve the community.

“It’s aging rapidly and we really need to do something,” said Jackson YMCA CEO Rick Wilson. “The facility will be owned by the county. But it would be run as a YMCA.”

Those against the proposal say it’s not fair to tax the entire county for a facility they don’t use, or live close to.

Another millage up for consideration deals with mental health.

Lifeways provides mental health services for Jackson County.

With funding from the state dwindling, they need more money to help people without insurance.

“We have gone from roughly $5 million to serve the uninsured in Jackson to $1.4 million. And I think it’s the right thing to do as a community to make sure we are able to treat all with mental health needs,” said Lifeways CEO Maribeth Leonard.

A recent survey found 64 percent of voters would support this millage if they get the chance to vote on it.

In local cat news, the Jackson County Animal Shelter is now at full cat capacity.

The shelter needs county board approval to build a new cat room.

Employees say it will be a more comfortable space for the cats and people coming to see them.

“I believe more people will hear about it, be curious about it, they’re going to come in. And it’s going to be more adoption friendly than what we currently have,” said Lead Kennel Attendant Sandy Clark.

The addition is already fully funded through donations.

Check with WLNS.com and our 11 p.m. report for updates.

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