We’ll give a kick in the pants to the Oregon State Hospital for unnecessarily rushing the closure process for Pendleton’s psychiatric hospital.

The writing has been on the wall for awhile at the Blue Mountain Recovery Center.

But as closing day comes closer, it looks as if the speed at which it arrives is too fast and too soon.

Local legislators admirably wrung the promise of three additional months of funding for the seemingly always-endangered BMRC, keeping it open until March. But those additional dollars haven’t had much of an effect in the building and its operations.

The Recovery Center has room for as many as 60 patients, but today it houses only 15.

Employee Robert McConnell said that’s a shame when you consider all the Oregonians who are on waiting lists for spots in the state system. For five more months, BMRC?has the beds and the dollars but won’t have the patients.

We understand that shuttering a facility requires advance planning, and we understand the need to cut off accepting new patients. But shuffling others from BMRC?to a crowded hospital elsewhere makes little sense before such a move is absolutely necessary.

The psychiatric hospital’s long history of solid care and good work should allow it to care for as many patients as they can for as long as possible.

Oregon State Hospital has made it clear that Eastern Oregon’s only such psychiatric hospital is at the end of the rope. The annual last-ditch legislative saves may have finally run out. But until that’s the case, BMRC?should run at full strength.

Closing should not be done months in advance, especially when the legislature is prepared to fork over enough money to ensure that isn’t necessary.

A tip of the hat to Pendleton City Council for facilitating a transfer that allows the Pendleton library more fiscal control over its funding.

The library asked for a return of their roughly $700,000, which had been loaned by the city to the airport at a low interest rate. The library wanted to invest those dollars in the Oregon Community Foundation, which can offer a 4.5 percent rate, more than double what it was getting from the city.

We know times are difficult in the city of Pendleton and outside-the-box thinking is needed to keep programs running, but the library should have the right to do what it wants with money earmarked for it.

The council was right to put the funding back under that direction. Now it needs to look for other ways to boost the airport or reduce financial bleeding there.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.