County jail expansion committee named

The committee tasked with determining the future of the Platte County Detention Center has been formed. At its regular session Monday, the Platte County Commission unanimously approved a slate of committee members and the committee’s general schedule. Committee members are: Cory Ball, Galen Dean, Susan Huffman, Don Breckon, James Roberts, Paul Dobbie, Jeff Watson, Jacque Cox and Dagmar Wood. The committee will hold its first meeting at 6 p.m. June 2 in the County Administration Center. Committee members are tasked with studying the short and long term needs of the County jail, judicial and prosecutorial facilities as well as the options for funding that may be required. The committee’s final report is due back to the Commissioners on Sept. 1. “It’s great we have people like this willing to donate their time to help us over the summer,” said 1st District Commissioner Beverlee Roper. Last month, the Sheriff’s Department sent out a request for bids for engineering and architectural services for a possible jail expansion. A separate committee made up of Sheriff’s Department staff will pick the top three contenders to bring to the Commissioners for further consideration. A jail expansion study conducted last year by Weber and Associates recommended that due to projected population growth and other factors, the County would need a 300-350 bed jail facility over the next 20 years. Weber and Associates projected a potential cost of up to $20 million, though it was a very preliminary estimate. Otherwise, the Commission handled business as usual during its session. For the Sheriff’s Department, the Commission approved professional services agreements with Assistant US Attorneys Jeff McCarther, Stuart Zander and Nhan Nguyen as part of its agreement with the federal Drug Enforcement Task Force. Platte County Parks and Recreation received approval for its application for the Missouri Department of Conservation’s TRIM grant, which assists the County with tree management. Director of Parks and Recreation Brian Nowotny said the department has received the grant for the last several years and hopes to use the funds to continue its tree inventory at County parks. With the ribbon cutting held Monday on the renovations and expansion at the Platte County Community Center South, the clock is ticking for final improvements to the Platte City YMCA. The Commission approved a bid award to Electric Contracting Company for $135,125 for audio visual systems at the center. The transportation tax agreements continue to trickle in, with the Commission voting to accept Weatherby Lake’s agreement. Only the Village of Iatan, Parkville and Kansas City remain to turn in agreements before revenue disbursements can be finalized from the renewed roads sales tax.