Plans, cost of new jail announced

2014-04-21T22:02:00Z Plans, cost of new jail announcedBy LEANN ECKROTH | Bismarck Tribune Bismarck Tribune

BISMARCK, N.D. - A rollout for a combined Burleigh/Morton County jail design showed it will cost nearly

$70 million for a 476-bed facility, said a consultant team on Monday.

Venture Architects and Ubl Design presented design plans to commissioners from Burleigh County, Morton County, Bismarck and Mandan. Voters from the two counties will decide if they want to pay for the jail using a half-cent sales tax on

June 10. The consultants said the jail and other renovation costs would be paid for in “less than 10 years.” The plans call for an

18-month project to be completed in 2017.

Tom Poweleit, vice president of Venture Architects said the five core buildings in the jail design separates the inmate population — minimum security, medium security, maximum security and special needs. The grounds of the jail site has the capacity to expand to 1,000 beds if needed, he said.

The booking area is designed to process an inmate within 15 minutes and allow officers’ patrol work to resume quickly, Poweleit said. The design includes a port area for

11 squad cars, a pre-booking area for the officers to finish paperwork, a booking area to transfer prisoners to county supervision and

30 holding cells to keep inmates until they are classified for the right jail population. If bailed out, suspects will come out through the front door. If kept longer, Non-trial court hearings could be done via interactive video from the booking section, said Poweleit.

Poweleit said the construction price jumped from $50 million to $69.9 million because the newest designs added 76 more jail beds than than a previous study showed, more technology and now include renovating existing jail facilities for each county.

The voters must also pass a home rule charter in each county before the counties can issue a temporary sales tax. Both counties would end the jails sales tax when all construction costs are paid for.

The two counties have tentatively decided the cost would be split 87 percent from Burleigh County and 13 percent from the Morton County through their jail sales taxes.

Most commissioners have favored using the sales tax to pay for the jail because the cost would be spread out through shoppers, not raising property taxes.

The reason the jail construction is being proposed is because of over-crowding. Burleigh County’s jail facility is designed to hold 138 and averaged 169 daily in 2013. Morton County is built for 38 and has 50 daily.

The consultants reported that from 2009-13, $1.1 million in property taxes was spent housing inmates outside the two counties. It’s estimated another $600,000 will spent in 2014 to house inmates outsidethe counties.

Burleigh County Sheriff Pat Heinert estimated by the 2017 jail opening, there could be enough demand to fill up to 310 jail beds if criminal activity continues at existing levels.

Plans on the jail will be presented 7:30 a.m. today at the Bismarck Mandan Chamber of Commerce Office in Bismarck, and 7 p.m. at the Seven Seas Hotel in Mandan.

For more information visit,

Reach LeAnn Eckroth at 701-250-8264 or

Copyright 2015 Bismarck Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

$9.47 million in conservation projects proposed

$9.47 million in conservation projects proposed

The first set of grant applications of the biennium to the Outdoor Heritage Fund will be considered Monday. Among the 20 proposed projects, to…

November 26, 2015 11:45 pm

Marquardt seeks re-election

Marquardt seeks re-election

Incumbent Steve Marquardt, 44, will seek re-election to a four-year term on the Bismarck City Commission in June. 

November 25, 2015 5:00 pm

FiveSouth hotel being secured, Washington Street bid awarded

Developers of the FiveSouth mixed use development in downtown Bismarck said they are brokering a deal with a hotel chain brand and restaurant …

November 24, 2015 7:01 pm

Stenehjem launches campaign for governor

Stenehjem launches campaign for governor

North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem launched his campaign for governor Tuesday, vowing to continue the state’s work at diversifying …

November 24, 2015 6:45 pm

State plan for emissions may strengthen court case

State plan for emissions may strengthen court case

The state’s best bet at dealing with federal carbon dioxide emissions rules is to develop a state plan while litigation is undertaken, a North…

November 24, 2015 3:30 pm

New Office of Administrative Hearings director appointed

The North Dakota Office of Administrative Hearings will have its second new director in two years next month following a Tuesday appointment b…

November 24, 2015 11:00 am