The San Diego County Board of Supervisors will consider Tuesday approving spending $17.4 million on a 16-bed psychiatric facility for the northern coastal region.

If approved, the funding will restore behavioral health beds, in the form of a new facility, at Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside, according to the county.

County officials and Tri-City Medical Center reached an agreement in principal last August to reopen a psychiatric unit, which closed in October 2018 and left the region without access to emergency mental health care.

According to the county, the 30-year operating agreement will govern what services Tri-City will provide at the psychiatric health facility, and how the county will compensate Tri-City. The agreement also covers how Tri-City will repay a no-interest for construction costs.

Supervisors Jim Desmond and Kristin Gaspar announced the tentative agreement at a news conference Monday.

Both supervisors were joined by officials from Tri-City and the county Health and Human Services Agency.

“Today, we mark a major milestone in this effort,” Gaspar said. “Let this serve as model for what can happen when we decide to work outside of silos.”

Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said Monday’s announcement means “we have a clear path forward to restore these services and help address our regional needs.”

Fletcher praised Desmond and Gaspar, the county staff, Tri-City leadership and state Assemblywoman Tasha Boerner Horvath, D-Encinitas, for their efforts.

Fletcher added that he “will fully support the agreement when it’s presented to the board on Tuesday.”

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