FULTON - Missouri Governor Jay Nixon addressed reporters at the state's oldest psychiatric hospital, Monday. Nixon announced $11 million in state funds will be available for the planning and design of a new facility at the site of the Fulton State Hospital.
"Rebuilding these deteriorating facilities will mean better care for patients, more safety for employees and greater opportunities for this region and I am pleased that strong bipartisan support continues to build for moving forward on this long overdue project," Nixon said.
Representative Chris Kelly said he's been trying to bring in money to the hospital for the past six years.
"How is the governor going to pay for this?" Kelly asked. "I'll tell you how, he's going to borrow money asking for bonds and I believe this is unconstitutional without the vote of the people.
Fulton State Hospital Chief Operating Officer Marty Martin-Forman said the money is necessary for the future.
"It's a long journey for those of us who have been around awhile, so it's incredibly exciting, not just us for staff but also for the clients we serve in the last 160 or so years," Martin-Forman said.
The $11 million is in the form of appropriation bonds and will help with the total cost of $211 million needed to complete the new hospital adding more than 2,500 new jobs. This comes after the already $2 million in state funding Nixon make available in September to begin the process of a new state hospital.
Other projects that have been completed with the help of appropriation bonds are the Metropolitan St. Louis Psychiatric Hospital, Northwest Psychiatric Rehabilitation Center, Boone Bontier Correctional Facility and Truman State Office Building in Jefferson City.
Approximately 70 people were in attendance for Governor Nixon's speech.