A state representative who has the Bellefontaine Habilitation Center in her district is pleased there are plans to keep the center open, but worries that the plans might lower quality of care.

Rep. Gina Walsh (D-St. Louis) wants to hear more about plans to keep Bellefontaine open. Walsh says the proposal is a very good plan and she remains cautiously optimistic. Walsh has concerns about the details of the private-public partnership that would build a new 120-bed facility and a 12-bed acute psychiatric wing. New programming will be created for 24 severely disabled Bellefontaine residents. Services during the day will be offered to 144 residents. Twenty-eight residents will be move to community settings.

The new plans for Bellefontaine came as a surprise to Walsh. Walsh says the legislative delegation that represents Bellefontaine had no idea the proposal was coming. She says the announcement that Bellefontaine would stay open is as much of a shock as the announcement three years ago that it would close. Walsh is surprised Blunt changed his mind. Walsh gives the Bellefontaine parent organization credit for keeping the center open.

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