County buys apartment complex
By a unanimous vote, the Morton County Commission approved the purchase of an apartment unit near the Law Enforcement Center.
The county commission purchased Berube Apartments during its April 9 meeting, which is located southeast of the LEC. The apartment complex was purchased for nearly $1.08 million.
The purchase was made to provide the county another option if it chooses not to team with Burleigh County in the creation of a new joint county jail. Morton County Commission Chairman Bruce Strinden said if the county decides to move forward with a joint county jail, the property of the apartments could be used for additional staffing and office space for Morton County.
Berube Apartments is contracted to remain low-income housing until February 2014. From there, that contract may be renegotiated on a yearly basis.
Both counties are working on the planning of a $50 million joint jail that would be located in Burleigh County. Morton County would be in charge of roughly 27 percent of the costs of building and operating the potential jail.
The counties have hired Kimme & Associates to create a plan for the construction of the jail, which will report its jail cost results to the county commission on Wednesday, April 24.
-Brian L. Gray