A plan to build a new Ward County office building across from the existing courthouse, plus remodel the courthouse and jail, and make other improvements to county offices will cost more than 35-million dollars.
That's what Ward County Commissioners were told by the architect studying the plans.
Commissioners talked about options for raising money for the project including funds for specific areas such as expanding the number of jail cells, and work on courtrooms judges chambers.
But the majority of the costs would have to raised either through the budgeting process - which would not require a county-wide vote, or through a half-cent increase in the sales tax in Ward County - which would need a successful vote of the people to be implemented.
That sales tax increase would bring in an estimated 7-point-2 million dollars per year - meaning the tax would have to be imposed for about six years to pay the cost of the projects.
The 35-million dollar estimate does not include things like engineering costs or a parking ramp.
On the subject of a parking structure, commissioner Bruce Christianson said he's prefer to provide outside parking to save money.
(Bruce Christianson, Ward County Commissioner) "I would be on the very conservative side when it comes to parking. Parking ramps are too pricey as far as I'm concerned. We have to look at other options because it's just too much money to put a ramp up."
Commissioners instructed the state's attorney to draw up potential language for a ballot question regarding the establishment of a half-cent sales tax to pay for the building projects.
They also said they may try to raise another ten million dollars to pay repair costs for flood-damaged infrastructure in the county.