Mandan News

Burleigh, Morton counties to hold home rule charter hearings next week

By LeAnn Eckroth
BISMARCK, N.D. –Both Burleigh and Morton counties have scheduled two public meetings next week that concern a combined jail they want to build together.
Morton County will hold its public hearing for its draft home rule charter at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the commission room of the Morton County Courthouse. It is being held after its 2014 final budget hearing.
Burleigh County is holding its public hearing about its home rule charter proposal at 5 p.m. Sept. 26, right before its final budget hearing at the City/County Building.
Residents are encouraged to comment about the home rule charters before their county commissioners finalize the ballot wording for next June’s home rule charter vote. Those ballots will ask if voters want to pay an extra half-cent sales tax to fund the new jail in southeast Bismarck.
If the home rule charters and jail sales taxes are approved in each county, the half-penny sales tax will end when the combined jail is paid for. Burleigh County officials have estimated that will take roughly six years to pay for the jail with the sales tax. Under their agreements, Burleigh County will pay 87 percent of the jail costs of building the jail and Morton County would pay the balance.
Burleigh Sheriff Pat Heinert said a selection team is interviewing companies who bid to design the jail. The facility will be designed to hold from 450 to 475 inmates. The design also is intended to give the voters more specifics on costs before they make their final decision and the best location.

Annexation protest
Next Monday is the deadline for rural residents to file their protest to the city of Mandan against a revised annexation. Letters of protest must be submitted by 4:30 p.m. to City Hall.

There will be a public hearing to determine sufficiency of protest at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 1 at the City Hall.
The new proposal asks to add 878 acres north of the Mandan Middle School to city borders. Developers want city services as they build where the growth appears to be moving to the northwest. Rural residents are primarily opposed to paying high special assessments and for city services they said they don’t need.
On Aug. 6, city commissioners withdrew a proposal to add 1,000 acres of rural property to city limits after nearly 33 percent of residents there filed a protest. People of the same area stopped a similar annexation in 2007 through their protests.

Business workshop
Those interested in possibly investing in and operating a business franchise are invited to attend a free workshop at 6 p.m. Oct. 10 at the Seven Seas Inn, Mandan.
Local entrepreneurs will discuss their individual franchise experiences and representatives of businesses seeking local franchises also are being invited to share their business opportunities.
The workshop is free with pre-registration requested. For more information and to register online, visit the “Meeting and Event Registration” section of www.cityofmandan.com or call 667-3485.
(Reach LeAnn Eckroth at 701-250-8264 or leann.eckroth@bismarcktribune.com.)