Burleigh County budget shows fiscal health

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BISMARCK, N.D. - The state's budget is sitting on shaky ground, but Burleigh County budget is on pace to be in the best shape its ever been. The county commission passed a preliminary 2019 budget Wednesday, one that will leave them with nearly $10 million in extra cash at the end of 2019.

Burleigh County Sheriff Pat Heinert recommended cutting costs to supplies so they could spend more on salaries and keep employees.

"We want to make sure our employees are treated as fairly as all the other government entities are around the area. There's a competition for those employees out there so we want to make sure we stay in the market,” said Heinert

But that's not stopping Heinert from looking at ways to improve his department and the Burleigh-Morton Detention Center

"Get people into treatment and get treatment programs into the jail facility so that while they're in jail, they're attending treatment programs, not waiting for them to get out of jail to do those treatment programs,” said Heinert.

Outside of the capitol city, county engineer Marcus Hall says he was able to keep construction plan of 249th Street NE near the town of McKenzie in his budget. But to complete the project, funding won't come from the projected surplus.

"Right now we're looking at about 6 and half million in the loan process. The whole project will run us probably $7 and half to $8 million,” said Hall.

But Hall says that project can't start until they get the loan. The county commission will vote on the final budget in September.

Hall also requested a one mill increase. For 2019, one mill will equal about $512,000. That will increase the yearly property tax on a $250,000 house by $11.25.