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A substance-abuse treatment program now provided by the state-administered Bear River Social Service office will be taken over by Bear River Mental Health Services Inc. on July 1.

The switch was unanimously approved Tuesday after the Cache County Council waived its normal second-reading procedure at the request of Bartell Cardon, executive director of the Bear River Mental Health Center.Cardon proposed the change in a letter to the council two weeks ago. Since then, County Executive Seth Allen and a Box Elder County commissioner have visited combined facilities in Weber and Davis counties.

"We were both very impressed," he said,

Elected officials from Cache, Rich and Box Elder counties serve as the authority board for both agencies. Allen said Box Elder commissioners approved the change earlier Tuesday and Rich County is neutral.

No one from the state Social Services Department attended the meeting, but Allen said he had told Doug Wiesse, director of the tri-county program, that the issue was up for discussion and there was a chance action would be taken.

Wiesse was not available for comment Wednesday..

Several council members said they have heard reports of frequent disputes between the agencies regarding which one had jurisdiction over a patient's treatment.

Cardon said having both programs under one roof will allow for more cost-efficient service. No jobs will be lost as a result, he added.