Clinton County officials are looking at opening a mental-health care center to take the place of the current Gannon Center. Chartered by the state in 1966 to serve Jackson, Dubuque and Clinton Counties, the Gannon Center had nearly 200 staff members working at several locations, till last week. That’s when it announced it would shut down because payments from the state were not enough to operate the agency.

Clinton County Supervisor Lewis Todtz says a local stand-alone center could succeed. Todtz says the Clinton County site of the Gannon center made a positive cash flow even though the whole organization did not. He says the only problem will be a startup period when cash flow hasn’t started up.

The Gannon Center provided services to clients who could not afford them otherwise, including outpatient services, therapy, medication management, emergency mental-health services and education and aid to schools and other agencies.

County officials held a teleconference Thursday with state officials to talk about their plan, and the supervisors plan another meeting Monday to talk about getting a block grant to start up the new agency. They’re looking forward to the new center, and pursuing several options “to make sure that what needs to happen, happens.” He says clients should be seamlessly incorporated into a new system.

The Clinton County Gannon Center had about two-thousand open cases when the closing was announced, and director Marcia Christiansen says the staff has agreed to stay on and work at the proposed Bridgeview Community Mental Health Center. Officials in Jackson and Dubuque County are also considering options for county and state supported mental health services.