Voters in Ward County will decide in November on whether to approve or deny a one-half of one percent sales tax to pay for expansion and renovations of the Ward County Courthouse.
Commissioners this morning approved the language of the measure that will appear the ballot.
Hearing from committee members about the overloaded cases in the courts, the county jail at, or over capacity and the office space crisis, Commissioners approved the motion to send the request to voters.
The initial report to the Commission is that the expansion and renovations would cost 39.3 million dollars but the exact amount will not appear on the ballot.
Rather the language says that the sales tax will terminate once the project is paid for and can end early if state or federal dollars help pay for parts of the project.
(Devra Smestad, Ward County Auditor) "In ordinance 2012-1 which states that the sales tax will take affect January 1st, 2013 and shall expire on December 31st 2022 unless all necessary funds are collected earlier. A yes vote means to approved the half cent sales tax and a no means you deny a half cent sales tax.
In 2008 voters rejected a proposal for a county office building to be built adjacent to the courthouse.
Commissioners said today all areas in the courthouse have hit a crisis concerning space and they plan to help educate the public about the dire need for the expansion.