Platte County getting $20 million in federal aid
he Platte County Commission voted on Tuesday, Sept. 7 to solicit architectural firms, consultants, and other experts to lead an effort to use $20 million to respond to COVID-19 by making capital investments and operational changes to mitigate the effects of the pandemic. The money comes from a federal grant approval in March.
“Platte County government can reduce the transmission of COVID-19 by making it more convenient for the public to interact with government offices without needing to show up in person at a government building,” said Presiding Commissioner Ron Schieber. “Much of the business world has already made the transition to serving customers without requiring them to drive to a business office. After COVID-19, this effort could delay the need to add government office space for years to come,” added Schieber.
“The pandemic forced the business world to figure out how to reduce crowded workspaces by increasing the amount of work that employees can do from home. The county government can change in similar ways. Increasing work-from-home reduces the chance employees will spread COVID-19 around the office,” stated Commissioner Dagmar Wood.
The ARPA Architect Review Committee met in person on Aug. 2 and by video conference on Aug. 25. The committee discussed the document that will be used to advertise this project to interested architectural firms and other consultants.
The request for qualifications document was revised several times based on feedback from the committee. The Architect Review Committee gave final approval to the request for qualifications and recommended the county commission approve it as well.
Commissioner Joe Vanover briefed the commission during their work session on Aug. 30 on the work of the Architect Review Committee.
The ARPA Architect Review Committee is composed of Presiding Judge Thomas Fincham, Sheriff Mark Owen, Prosecutor Eric Zahnd, Recorder Gloria Boyer, Commissioner Vanover, Director of Facilities Daniel Erickson, Director of Information Technology Ted Smith, and Director of Administration Dana Babcock.
Judge Ann Hansbrough, Auditor Kevin Robinson, Major Erik Holland, Director of Public Works Bob Heim, and First Assistant Prosecutor Mark Gibson also participated in the discussions of the committee.
The Architect Review Committee will next review the submissions of architectural firms and conduct interviews. The committee will then discuss which firms to recommend to the county commission.
After a firm is selected by the county commission, the ARPA Architect Review Committee will dissolve, and the firm will begin direct meetings with the various parts of Platte County government.
“The county commission decided it was important to have input from the key stakeholders on which firm the county should hire to lead this effort. I hope we can continue to work together and take full advantage of this potentially transformational project,” Vanover said.