The Washington State Department of Commerce has provided more than $3 million for a behavioral crisis facility in Pierce County, continuing progress on the stabilization center’s development.

The county announced the grant in a news release last week, adding that the state grant will be combined with county funds for a 16-bed facility.

“Increasing access to quality behavioral treatment and care has been a top priority for us,” Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier said in a statement. “With this grant we now can see a 16-bed facility on the horizon, which is a large step forward in providing care that is badly needed in our community.”

First responders and health providers have considered the center a “major priority,” the release said.

The facility would likely look similar to a crisis stabilization center that currently operates in Fife. Recovery Innovations, a private crisis health company, runs that facility, and it was previously selected to operate the new, more southern center.

If council approval and other permitting is completed, the facility could begin treating patients by fall 2019, according to the release.