PLATTE CITY, Mo. — Big changes are coming to some Platte County buildings and offices thanks to $20 million of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) money the county has left over.

“We really decided to spend the money on county facilities,” said Presiding Platte County Commissioner Scott Fricker. “We didn’t want to spend it on anything that led to ongoing increased operating costs.”

That’s why Fricker says the money will instead be used to plan and execute upgrades to county technology, office space, and the county website.

That will include moving the Platte County Sheriff’s Office to the old County Resource Center at 11724 NW Plaza Circle in Kansas City, Missouri from the existing location between the county jail and county courthouse in Platte City. It will also make some offices easier for the public to access.

“So that the offices with the highest public facing jobs like the Collector, who has people coming in all the time, is on the main floor,” Fricker said.

Moving the Sheriff’s Office will change some processes in that office, but Major Erik Holland tells FOX4 it will drastically increase the amount of space they have to use.

“We have a number of people working in spaces that used to be storage closets,” Holland said.

The new location is only about eight miles from the current offices, but that puts it much closer to I-29 and in the middle of where much of Platte County lives.

“It is more centralized in the county as far as a population breakdown, and it puts us a lot closer to our other law enforcement partners that we work with on a frequent basis,” Holland said, pointing out that they use the resource center already for training because it has so much space. He expects that practice to continue.

The sheriff’s office expects to move around November of 2023 after the necessary renovations can be completed.

FOX4 has done a handful of stories about the ongoing effort to expand the Platte County Jail facilities, which are already above capacity. That forces the county to spend money every year to pay other counties to take inmates when Platte County runs out of room.

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Presiding Commissioner Fricker says that’s a separate matter that can’t overlap with the ARPA funds.

“Federal regulations don’t allow you to spend that money on increasing jail capacity,” Fricker said. “That is one of the specifically prohibited items.”