Commission Reviews Jail Plans - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Commission Reviews Jail Plans

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Overcrowding in Burleigh and Morton county jails has prompted the counties to team up and build a shared detention center.

In 2012, the total cost for the project was expected to be about $50 million, but Monday the final number presented was almost $20 million more,  at $69.9 million.

Right now, the Burleigh and Morton county facilities only have 176 beds combined, which both sheriffs say creates over-crowding and unsafe conditions. The funding for the building will come from a half cent sales tax increase imposed by a home rule charter. The architects and sheriffs say the lack of current space is costing tax payers a lot of money to transport and house inmates at other facilities.

"Build the core to what you expect to house in the future otherwise you're going to run into problems," says Burleigh County Sheriff Pat Heinert. "That's why the design has changed a little bit from a core of the 500 inmates to a core of 1,000. This facility is designed to house up to a 1,000, and is what we would have in it with every expansion possible. I'm not saying we're ever going to get there hopefully never, but we have to think about the future."

Now, there will be two more presentations and public forums on the jail plans Tuesday, the first  is at 7:30 a.m. at the Bismarck-Mandan Chamber of Commerce and the second one is at 7 p.m. at the Seven Seas in Mandan.
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