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Department Releases Details of Proposed Psychiatric Facility

Maine Gov. Paul LePage is moving ahead with plans to build a state psychiatric residence without legislative oversight.

The Republican's administration has released details about the proposed project in Bangor, not Augusta as it originally proposed.

The 21-bed building would be completed by 2019 with a developer chosen soon.
A private operator would run the residence under a 10-year contract.

Advocates for those with mental illness are examining the plan. That includes retired Chief Justice Daniel Wathen, who oversees the state's obligation to ensure people treated for mental illness receive appropriate care. Wathen said his focus will be on whether staffing levels are adequate.

A bill by Democratic Rep. Drew Gattine would direct the state to operate and build the residence near Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta.