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, www.co.burleigh.nd.us