The Morton County Commission votes to hop on board with Burleigh County and build a joint jail.
After more than an hour of debate, tonight the county commission voted three to two in favor of a joint jail with Burleigh County.
Now that the commission has jumped on board, voters will make the final decision next summer.
Both counties are out of space when it comes to housing inmates, the proposed facility will have more than 460 beds.
But not every county commissioner is sold on the idea of a joint jail.
<<"That motion carries, passes 3 to 2," Bruce Strinden said.
Those words are exactly what Burleigh County Sheriff Pat Heinert was hoping to hear at Monday nights Morton County Commission meeting.
"I think it's the best for both communities both Burleigh and Morton to include the two cities, one facility is going to be much less expensive and operate and manage than two separate facilities," Burleigh County Sheriff, Pat Heinert said.
"Granted we're still three years out before the facility actually opens up its doors, but it's a start and that's what we needed to get going," Morton County Sheriff Dave Shipman said.
The new facility means taxpayers could pay a half cent sales tax increase until the facility is paid off, but one county commissioner says he'd rather pay the sales tax for a longer period of time in order to have a jail in Morton County.
"The time has come, we have to do something, and I'd rather pay twice as long in my taxes to have a building in Mandan, versus in Burleigh County," Jim Boehm said.
Other commissioners argued voters don't want to pay any more taxes if they don't have to.
"The public ultimately when it comes to prisons and jails, least cost is the best option generally, that's just my take on the situation," Cody Schulz said.
The new joint jail also will have room for expansion if more beds are needed in the future.>>
Voters will head to the polls on June 10, 2014 to vote on the joint jail.
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