West St. Paul approves inpatient mental health facility

The West St. Paul City Council on Monday unanimously approved plans for a residential mental health facility that advocates say is a much-needed boost to Dakota County’s treatment options.

The 16-bed Dakota County Crisis Center will offer short-term treatment and be built in the same parking lot as the county’s Northern Service Center on Mendota Road.

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St. Paul mental health services provider Guild will operate the center. The nonprofit runs group homes in South St. Paul that will collapse into the new center.

While some neighbors have voiced concern about potential safety issues, residents poured out their support for the project during a public comment period Monday night.

Some proponents said expanded services in West St. Paul will help treat patients in the community where they live. Others praised the location’s proximity to population centers and access to public buses.