Strategic Plan for County Facilities Approved

At their July 10, 2013 meeting, Washtenaw County commissioners gave final approval to a range of infrastructure projects totaling about $5 million for county government facilities – including redeveloping the Platt Road site where the old juvenile center was located. Commissioners had given initial approval to the overall proposal – called the “strategic space plan” – at their June 5, 2013 meeting.

The final resolution included a two-part amendment proposed by Andy LaBarre (D-District 7). He called for the creation of a 9-member advisory committee to guide the dispensation of the Platt Road site, which is located in his district. The space plan proposes demolishing the former juvenile center and exploring redevelopment of the site at 2260 and 2270 Platt Road for affordable housing, alternative energy solutions, and county offices. Details of how the advisory committee will be appointed, as well as the committee’s formal mission, will need to be worked out and will require approval from the board at a later date.

The second part of the amendment directed the staff to use the county’s existing vendor pool for work on these projects, whenever feasible. After some discussion, commissioners amended LaBarre’s amendment to designate using the vendor pool for projects under $100,000.

In addition to the Platt Road site, other projects in the plan include:

  • At 200 N. Main in Ann Arbor, consolidate the land records from the building’s lower level to the 1st floor, and remodel the lower level to accommodate administrative offices.
  • At 220 N. Main in Ann Arbor, repurpose space in the garden level, including redesigning conference room space.
  • At 110 N. Fourth in Ann Arbor (known as the Annex), relocate the Office of Community and Economic Development, Office of Infrastructure Management, and the Public Defender’s office to other leased and county-owned space.
  • At the county’s service center near Washtenaw and Hogback, redesign the Learning Resource Center (LRC) as a full conference center, providing county-owned space for large and small meetings. Also, make parking improvements, including adding 110 new spaces, rebuilding the lot between the LRC and the courthouse, and resurfacing the entry drive off of Hogback.
  • At a location to be determined, develop a specialty vehicle storage facility for the sheriff’s office and other departments.

According to Greg Dill, the county’s infrastructure management director, no general fund dollars will be used for the projects, which are estimated to cost about $5 million. Funding will come from several sources: (1) $1 million from the 1/8th mill fund balance; (2) $650,000 from the facilities operations & maintenance fund balance; (3) $650,000 from the Office of Community & Economic Development reserves; (4) $500,000 from the tech plan fund balance; and (5) $2.2 million from the county’s capital reserves. Dill had briefed commissioners on the plan at a March 20, 2013 working session.

In addition to the projects listed above, other changes will be made to accommodate the county’s Community Support and Treatment Services (CSTS) unit, which provides contract services to the Washtenaw Community Health Organization (WCHO). The WCHO will pay for that facilities work, including moving the entire Adult MI program staff to the Annex at 110 N. Fourth; repurposing vacated space at 2140 Ellsworth for Youth and Family Services; and relocating all “service delivery” units to the 1st floor of the Towner II building at 555 Towner Street in Ypsilanti.

This brief was filed from the boardroom of the county administration building at 220 N. Main St. in Ann Arbor. A more detailed report will follow: [link]