YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – It’s something that’s been in the works for the last six or seven months, but thanks to an amendment in the latest state budget bill, it could become reality.
On Wednesday, the Ohio Senate approved its own version of the biennium, including some language to transfer control of the Youngstown Developmental Center in Austintown.
The center will go from state control to being under the control of the Mahoning County Mental Health and Recovery Board — for just $1.
Although the measure still needs final passage from the Ohio General Assembly and a signature from Governor John Kasich, leaders with the Mental Health Board say they’d like to use the 35-acre site to help local non-profit agencies that help the disabled.
“For the housing, we’re looking at maybe some senior citizens, some people with mental health, consumers that are aging that may benefit more from a nursing home-type facility. Some of the structures are set up like a medical model. We’re looking at adults with autism,” said Duane Piccirilli, executive director of the Mental Health Board.
Piccirilli says the facility would be supported through leases and rentals, with no local tax dollars being used.
Lawmakers expect to pass the overall budget next week and have Kasich sign it by the end of the month.