Thursday, December 10, 2009

Feds funding dental clinic at William J. Carroll Government Center planned for Vacaville

Feds funding dental clinic at William J. Carroll Government Center planned for Vacaville
By Danny Bernardini
Posted: 12/10/2009

A $2.1 million dental clinic has been added to the plans of the proposed William J. Carroll Government Center after Solano County received federal money Wednesday.

Solano County Health and Social Services Department was awarded nearly $2.2 million for the construction of the clinic in Vacaville, which includes $600,000 to be used on equipment. The $9-million to $12-million project is being designed and scheduled to open sometime in 2012.

More than $14 million in federal recovery funds is headed to communities represented by Congressman George Miller, D-Solano, to help rebuild and relocate health care services for 7th District residents. President Barack Obama unveiled the grant funding Wednesday at an event with community health-care leaders at the White House.

Named after the late Bill Carroll, former Vacaville mayor and county supervisor, the complex will offer mental health counseling, employment eligibility and substance abuse counseling, among other services.

Originally planned to be a 50,000-square-foot project with the city of Vacaville, the county has since decided to go it alone, scaling down the building to 25,000 square feet. But that could also turn into 35,000 square feet, if bids are lower than expected.

"This is a huge shot in the arm for our communities as they work to provide much needed health-care services," said Miller in a release. "Solano County's plan to provide additional dental services in Vacaville will help improve the overall health of our community's neediest residents."

Current funding for the facility didn't allow for a dental clinic, but the grant funding will allow Solano County to expand the currently approved footprint to incorporate it. The clinic will offer oral surgery services, including procedures for children requiring conscious sedation.

Supervisor Mike Reagan said the county runs a clinic in a medical building on Nut Tree Drive, near NorthBay Medical Center. That facility is staffed by Community Clinic Consortium, which works with nonprofit organizations to provide services. He said the county applied for the grant, and officials were hopeful it would be included.

Supervisor John Vasquez said having county-owned space for the clinic would be a benefit, should the nonprofits that occupy it fall through. He said the county could fill in with its dentists while another organization is found.

Solano County is in the middle of correcting an $18.9 million structural deficit with layoffs and cuts, but that won't affect construction. The center is funded with money from a tobacco settlement that supervisors chose to use.