Sign for Caro Center project

A community is bracing for the possibility that a major employer may close.

Until last month, Caro was expecting a $115 million facility to replace the aging Caro psychiatric center.

But Gov. Gretchen Whitmer put the project on hold.

It’s been just more than a month since Gov. Whitmer made the decision to bring progress on the project to a halt.

Residents in the thumb region are waiting and wondering what she’ll do next.

“No sir, I have not. I have not heard anything from the governor or the governor’s staff in regards to the Caro Center,” said Michael Silverman, Caro city manager.

In March, Whitmer put plans to build a new Caro Center on hold citing concerns over staffing, family interaction with patients, and access to water.

A month later, Silverman said local and county leaders are doing what they can to save the multi-million-dollar project.

“As of right now the county has actually contracted with a lobbying firm in Lansing,” Silverman said. “And on our end, we’re working on a lot of grassroots approaches to making sure the governor is aware of how important this facility is to our area.”

Residents are hoping plans for the new Caro Center come to fruition.

During a press event in Saginaw, area lawmakers shared their thoughts on the Caro Center project.

“We are going to continue to support that center being there,” said Ken Horn.

“As of right now we’re going to do what we can to encourage the governor to keep it if that’s in the best interest of the state but we’re still determining whether or not that is,” Vanessa Guerra.

“I think the governor is probably doing more of a disservice to the folks both in Caro and around the state of Michigan,” said Rodney Wakeman.

Those responses give Silverman optimism that Whitmer will make what he believes is the right decision.

“That’s not shocking at all,” Silverman said. “This is a very important center in our community and it has to stay here.”

Copyright 2019 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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