Remodeling of the Polk County Law Enforcement Center, which the county hoped to start by now, is currently on hold due to a unique situation that left the Board of Commissioners with no choice but to reject all the bids received for the project at its meeting Tuesday.
The board was informed at a previous meeting that the four bidders included the same mechanical sub-contractor in their bid packages, which Administrator Chuck Whiting said complicated the process. The plumbing work was omitted from this sub-contractor's bid. It was decided that the best way to proceed was to reject all the bids and allow the whole project to be re-bid.
Whiting said the goal is to get the work going yet this fall.
The board approved a few budget-related items on Tuesday:
• Ambulance service assessments will remain the same in 2013 at $72 for Fertile, $40 for Fosston and $36 for Crookston. Property owners pay the annual assessment on their tax statements for the service area in which their homes are located.
• The Maple Lake Improvement District's 2013 budget of $50,720 and the Union Lake Sarah Improvement District budget of $59,031 were approved.
• Robert Wagner, director of Assessment Services, was reappointed to the position for another four years.
• The board approved a security agreement with North Country Security Inc. of Brainerd, which provides security officers for the Polk County Justice Center. The officers will receive $18.92 per hour, which will go up $19.42 the third year.
Commissioner Warren Strandell, who serves as chair of the Tri-County Community Corrections Center board, talked about the TCCC budget that is still in the preliminary stage. The operational costs are divided between Polk, Red Lake and Norman Counties, based on usage and jail population, he explained, with Polk paying the vast majority at around 87 percent. The county's operational TCCC budget for next year is up about 4.6 percent to approximately $193,000, although Strandell acknowledged it could go down by the time the budget is finalized in December. Red Lake and Norman Counties saw a decrease in usage this year, which will reflect in a decrease in their contributions next year.
Strandell said a transportation plan between corrections and the federal Marshall Service is being discussed, as the jails in western North Dakota are filling up fast and, consequently, more space is needed to house them. A possible agreement would allow around 10 prisoners to be housed at Northwest Regional Corrections Center at any given time, which would bring in $65 per inmate a day. The Marshall Service would also pay for the transport of these prisoners to and from here at $30 an hour for each of the two sheriff's deputies required.
Page 2 of 2 - If it comes to fruition, the plan could bring in an extra $150,000 or more a year in revenue, Strandell noted.