McKenzie Co Courthouse & Jail Expand - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

McKenzie Co Courthouse & Jail Expand

Posted: Updated:

From the water department to social services --- oil impacts stretch through every department at McKenzie County Courthouse.

County commissioners and sheriff departments are in the early phases of discussing a new multi-county correctional facility.

But until that happens, newly appointed McKenzie County Sheriff John Fulwider is making adjustments to the jail and as Jennifer Thorgramson tells us in this week's Eye on Energy, as one renovation is complete, another begins.

Built in 1985, the McKenzie County Correctional Facility was once the answer to oil-fed growing pains.

(Sheriff John Fulwider, McKenzie County) "We had what I call a mini-boom back in the 80's. That lasted for about five years. This boom is three-times or four-times as busy as we were back then."

To deal with today's growing pains, the jail is undergoing a renovation.

A little over a million dollars has been invested in updating cell doors, video and electrical equipment.

This hallway of cells has been unusable for years.

With the updates, in addition to the existing nine bed capacity, the hallway will add two holding cells for short-term stays.

(Sheriff John Fulwider, McKenzie County) "Eight years ago, we were a six man department. Now we're up to 14. And I hope to get three more."

Also at that time, the nine bed jail was rarely full, even with long-term inmates.

All inmates staying longer than 48 hours are moved to Dickinson right now: Williams County is too full to help, and McKenzie too small to house them.

(Sheriff John Fulwider, McKenzie County) "Equipment, patrol vehicles, manpower, is that going to be enough? I don't know. We're just trying to keep our head above the water."

The McKenzie County Jail renovation should be complete by December.

And as one facility is completed, another will be under construction.

(Linda Svihovec, McKenzie County Auditor) "We've run out of room. Completely run out of space to even stuff people in cubicals anymore."

Every department within the McKenzie County Courthouse has added staff, and the 2014 budget makes room for 20 more.

But there's no room left in the building, so the county will be adding on to the east with additional parking to the south.

A $9.6 million dollar expansion bid was approved in October.

Finances for the project have been set aside for the last three years.

Now in order to streamline the building process, the courthouse departments will be stepping aside: departments are preparing to move into a portable courthouse at the fairgrounds.

(Linda Svihovec, McKenzie County Auditor) "It will be challenging, we'll be going from a too small space to an even smaller space. But I think in the end, everyone sees where we'll be in the end. It's something we're willing to do."

Planning for the future of oil country is a bit of a moving target, and the answer may be different with each decade but McKenzie County is growing with demand.

For Eye on Energy in Watford City, Jennifer Thorgramson, KX News.

Future needs are being kept in mind through the renovations: instead of permanent inner walls the courthouse will be made up of furniture systems that can be moved without major renovation if needed.

  • Minot/Williston NewsMore>>

  • Tribes Host Oil-Gas Summit

    Tribes Host Oil-Gas Summit

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 8:06 PM EDT2014-04-23 00:06:47 GMT
    The busiest tribal land in the US for oil exploration sits in the heart of the Bakken formation.More than one thousand oil wells on the Fort Berthold Reservation are producing close to 200-thousand barrels of oil every day.And today, the Mandan-Hidatsa-Arikara Nations opened their annual Oil and Gas Summit at the Four Bears Events Center, spotlighting oil development and environmental stewardship.Following a traditional native song and colorful dance, Chairman Tex Hall opened the event by poi...
    The busiest tribal land in the US for oil exploration sits in the heart of the Bakken formation.More than one thousand oil wells on the Fort Berthold Reservation are producing close to 200-thousand barrels of oil every day.And today, the Mandan-Hidatsa-Arikara Nations opened their annual Oil and Gas Summit at the Four Bears Events Center, spotlighting oil development and environmental stewardship.Following a traditional native song and colorful dance, Chairman Tex Hall opened the event by poi...
  • Trucker in Deadly Accident Enters Pleas

    Trucker in Deadly Accident Enters Pleas

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 7:50 PM EDT2014-04-22 23:50:32 GMT
    A truck driver charged with three counts of negligent homicide has pleaded 'not guilty.'A fiery crash east of Stanley last June ended with three men dead.50-year-old Vernon Wright was driving a semi truck and trailer, crossing the westbound lane of Highway 2 during a time of low visibility due to fog.Wright stopped in the westbound lane after the first collision, blocking westbound traffic --- an act prosecution calls a 'gross deviation from acceptable standards of conduct.'Prosecution and de...
    A truck driver charged with three counts of negligent homicide has pleaded 'not guilty.'A fiery crash east of Stanley last June ended with three men dead.50-year-old Vernon Wright was driving a semi truck and trailer, crossing the westbound lane of Highway 2 during a time of low visibility due to fog.Wright stopped in the westbound lane after the first collision, blocking westbound traffic --- an act prosecution calls a 'gross deviation from acceptable standards of conduct.'Prosecution and de...
  • Legislators Discuss Higher Education

    Legislators Discuss Higher Education

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 7:46 PM EDT2014-04-22 23:46:48 GMT
    State spending on higher education in North Dakota continues to rise -- but still, with more state dollars flowing to the institutions, the bill being passed on to students continues to rise.Representative Mark Sanford is the chairman of the legislative Higher Education Funding Committee that met at Minot State today.The Grand Forks Republican says school tuition is always a concern for legislators...But he says the schools that may get the first look when it comes to reigning in tuition may ...
    State spending on higher education in North Dakota continues to rise -- but still, with more state dollars flowing to the institutions, the bill being passed on to students continues to rise.Representative Mark Sanford is the chairman of the legislative Higher Education Funding Committee that met at Minot State today.The Grand Forks Republican says school tuition is always a concern for legislators...But he says the schools that may get the first look when it comes to reigning in tuition may ...
Quick Clicks
Closings/Delays
View list
Calendar
What's happening?
Lottery Results
Feeling lucky?
Viewer Photos
Submit yours!
Road Report
Current conditions
TV Listings
See what's on
Gas Prices
Check near you
E-Mail Newsletter
Signup now

Most Popular

Stories
Videos
loading...
Powered by WorldNow
General information or questions:
kxinfo@kxnet.com

News:
Bismarck:
Phone: 701-223-9197
News Fax: 701-223-1985

News:
Minot:
Phone: 701-852-2104
News Fax: 701-838-1050
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KXNET. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.