ow will Platte County spend the additional $20 million in federal COVID-19 aid headed its direction?
The first step in that process could begin with a meeting set for Tuesday.
The Platte County government is holding a meeting of a COVID Response Committee at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 23 by video conference.
The public can watch through the county’s YouTube channel, which can be found by searching Platte County Government on YouTube.
Joe Vanover, who took over as second district county commisisoner on Jan. 1, said: “I have talked with several county officeholders this week regarding this project. The elected county officeholders have been invited to participate. Indications are that the Platte County government will receive approximately $20 million in federal funds as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.”
Vanover said the first category of eligible spending is “to respond to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) or its negative economic impacts.”
Vanover said the purpose of the committee is “to respond to the public health emergency with respect to COVID-19 and its negative economic impacts in such a way that transitions the county government to the post-COVID period.”
Vanover said he has ideas on how the federal funds should be spent.
“The latest round of federal funds will be best spent by paying for the county government’s transition to the post-COVID period. We need to update our buildings to offer a more convenient and safer customer experience. We should spend some money to improve our buildings to provide a workplace free of issues that can lead to respiratory and health conditions,” he said Friday.
“We can improve our ability to do business with the citizens through our website and ease public access by digitizing more records. Funding more work-from-home will reduce potential transmission and will lower the need to add office space in the future. We may also be able to implement innovative methods to keep the jail population below capacity and still maintain a high level of public safety,” Vanover said.
“All of this can be accomplished through the county’s existing procedures to approve proposals, get bids, and award contracts. We do not need to add another layer of bureaucracy to spend the money to respond to COVID as we transition to the new way of doing the business of the county government.”
Under the previous federal COVID relief package, Platte County received $12.2 million. The Platte County Commission of Ron Schieber, Dagmar Wood and John Elliott voted to give the vast majority of that money away to businesses that it selected for CARES grants.