WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Work continues to expand mental health care services to those living in Wichita and Sedgwick County. However, funding for the project has been delayed a bit longer.

On Monday, Gov. Laura Kelly was in Wichita for a roundtable at the COMCARE Crisis Center. During the roundtable, leaders discussed plans to build a 50-bed mental health hospital in the area.

“It is very clear that an inpatient facility is the missing link that has got to be resolved. It is creating huge problems in law enforcement, it is creating huge problems in your acute care facilities, your hospitals, and just an overall problem within the community,” Kelly said.

Gov. Kelly tells KSN News that $15 million has been placed in the budget this fiscal year for the hospital. However, an additional $25 million will come from SPARK (Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas) funding. A meeting involving that funding was supposed to happen Monday but was postponed due to a scheduling conflict. The meeting will be rescheduled in the future.

Roundtable meeting at COMCARE. (Courtesy: Gov. Laura Kelly’s Office)

Sedgwick County Commissioner David Dennis said the funding is needed to get the project moving.

“All we need is the funding. People keep asking where is it going to go? Can’t tell you. I don’t have any money, so once we get the funding, we will move forward as quickly as possible,” Dennis said. “I still feel confident that we are at the top of the list. I think that we will get the $25 million. I just don’t know when.”

Other participants at Monday’s meeting included Sedgwick County Manager Tom Stolz, Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple, Robyn Chadwick, president of Ascension Via Christi St. Joseph, Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter, Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett, and Wichita Police Department Captain Jason Cooley.