LIMA — After meeting with three different companies, Allen County Commissioners have a design firm in mind to spearhead the county’s facility assessment and strategic plan.
While commissioners emphasized that all three companies had something to offer in terms of ensuring that county facilities are used in the most efficient manner possible, Cleveland-based K2M Design emerged as the front-runner, having previously worked with the county on its assessment of the Juvenile Detention Center.
The final selection is still to come, however, pending fee negotiations.
“We’re very excited for the future of Allen County and what we’re looking at with our buildings,” commissioner Cory Noonan said. “All three of these entities spoke of helping Allen County put together a strategic plan, looking at the efficient use of our buildings.”
During the study, the firm will tour various county buildings, such as the courthouse, the county engineer’s office, the dog warden’s office and others. It will examine how departments should be placed to ensure peak efficiency. Funding for the study will be helped by a state grant totaling half of the cost of the study, capping at $50,000.
Noonan said that having a strategic plan in place for capital improvements is essential to ensure money is being used most effectively and in the proper order. One example he noted is the courthouse clock tower, which must be addressed before any repairs to the roof can take place.
“It protrudes out of the roof, so we have to take care of that,” he said. “In order to do the roof, we have to take care of the clock tower. So it’s like a domino effect, similar to these other projects we will be doing. We want to make sure we can look one, two, three or four steps ahead.”
Once a final contract is reached, Noonan is hopeful that the assessment can be completed within four to five months.
Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.