Home Rule Charter Passes - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Home Rule Charter Passes

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Last night, voters in Burleigh and Morton County approved the measures to increase the sales tax and build a joint county jail. While sheriff's say they're relieved the vote is over and passed, there's a lot more work to do.

Not even 12 hours after the final result came in on the Home rule Charter, Burleigh and Morton County officials met this morning to get the ball rolling. I spoke them about the future plans and how Morton County's vote came a little too close for comfort.

The Burleigh and Morton County Sheriffs are breathing a sigh of relief. Both counties passed the home rule charter by more than 500 votes, but Morton County Sheriff Dave Shipman says the vote for the sales and use tax was close, passing by a mere 42 votes.

"I felt confident the home rule charter was going to pass the half cent sales tax was the one I was worried about because it was very close and it came down to the last precinct coming in from flasher that helped us push it over," says Shipman.

With the public's approval, county officials aren't wasting time moving forward with the $70 million, 500 bed jail.

"The next step is towards the end of the month. The architects come back together, and we get down to more serious planning, identify specifically where light switches go and what acoustics go into the facility. We really narrow it down and work towards the bidding process of the facility," says Burleigh County Sheriff Pat Heinert.

Both sheriffs say they are pleased to see that the people understand the danger and excessive costs of their overcrowded jails.

"I'm glad the jail vote is over, a large amount of time the past 4 to 6 months  and the last month and a half to two months trying to get the word out to the public," says Shipman.

The sales tax increase in both counties will take effect October 1. Crews are expected to break ground on the new jail site off of Apple Creek Road next spring.

Now, some results were delayed last night according to the secretary of state. Al Jaeger says server problems delayed some of the results from being seen but there was nothing wrong with the program tallying the votes.



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