Disability rights advocates say private providers will need more money to make sure patients can smoothly transition out of the soon-to-be-shuttered Montana Developmental Center.

Community-based disability service providers will take on the bulk of some two dozen mentally ill and developmentally disabled patients. Allan Bergman, an Illinois-based consultant, on Thursday called for the state to pay for "the right staff in the right place."

Bergman says it isn't expensive to maintain the facilities but requires a resource investment early on.

But the center's closure has generated several critics, including six of the 15 appointees to a committee that oversaw the center's phase-out. The six committee members signed a March letter to the Independent Record calling reports of abuse at the center overblown. They asked the Legislature to repeal the law mandating its closure.