County will use ARPA money
Platte County is moving ahead with a plan to expand the use of video technology for court hearings involving inmates who are incarcerated in the county jail.
On Tuesday the county commission approved an agreement with TreanorHL, architectural firm, for expanding the county’s video courtroom space and processes. Amount of the contract is $38,750 and will be covered with ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funding, which is coronavirus relief aid from the federal government.
Treanor will help identify space in the county complex, design modifications to the space, assist with the bid process with contractors and oversee those contractors, said Daniel Erickson, facilities manager for the county.
“We do believe this is an eligible expense (for ARPA funds),” Erickson said, “as does Treanor.”
Erickson said that video arraignments reduce the moving of inmates throughout the complex and make things safer for jail staff and for inmates.
“Video conferencing is not just for business executives anymore. Having inmates appear in court by video conference is safer because no one catches COVID-19 over the internet. If other jails increase video conferencing, jail overcrowding can be reduced for all of us. This project is important enough that we want to start it before the full evaluation of facilities and operations is completed,” said Joe Vanover, second district county commissioner.