Facility moves, workers laid off

ESCANABA – Pathways Community Mental Health has moved to a new location in Delta County, though the move has resulted in laying off six county employees.

Pathways, which had been housed in the Delta County Service Center, has relocated to the old Doctors Park facility located at 2500 7th Ave. S, and will be completely moved out of the county’s service center building on Friday, according to Delta County Administrator Nora Viau.

However, according to Viau, this transition means a half-dozen county employees have lost their jobs.

“When they (Pathways) were renting from us, we provided them maintenance and housekeeping services,” she explained. “Right now we don’t have a tenant (to fill the space) so the six people that were funded by that are being laid off.”

A phone call to Pathways was not immediately returned for additional details on their relocation, but Viau said Pathways had approached Delta County to purchase the county’s service center facility earlier this year. However, their offer was denied since, according to Viau, the offer was far less than the value of the building.

With Pathways’ spot in the service center now vacant, some inquiries have been made on what to do with the space, but no decision has been determined.

“What we’re looking at and working with is we’re going to be splitting out the utilities in different segments since right now it’s one meter,” said Viau, noting this allows tenants to pay for only the amount of the utilities they use.

With Pathways vacating the service center, only Public Health, Delta & Menominee Counties and the Michigan State University Extension office remain housed in the facility.

Viau said Pathways had been located in the service center since the county bonded $2.5 million to add onto the building in 1985, doubling the facility’s size.

According to its website, Pathways Community Mental Health serves approximately 3,000 people in Delta, Alger, Luce, and Marquette counties; its mission is to serve and empower people with severe mental illnesses, severe emotional disturbances or developmental disabilities, to enhance their quality of life.