MINOT, N.D. — Officials say construction on the nearly $40 million expansion of the Ward County Jail is two months ahead of schedule.

Even though the project is ahead of schedule, the county is still trying to address costs that were unaccounted for in the design. The county has a contingency fund for unexpected expenses, but commissioners are cautious about using those funds too freely.

“Our income from the sales tax is not staying up where it was last year,” Commissioner Alan Walter said. “We are getting tighter on these budgets. That’s why we are saying, ‘Watch these contingencies.'”

Additional spending for construction was approved Tuesday.

The expanded portion of the jail is expected to open in 2018, increasing the jail’s capacity from 104 to 300 beds.

The Minot Daily News (http://bit.ly/2cHN3Il ) reports that the North Dakota Department of Corrections declared the jail to be in compliance with state laws following a September inspection. A late 2014 noncompliance report cited inadequate medical care and failure to have adequately trained staff.

“The jail is now completely in compliance with all North Dakota state jail rules. There are no longer any compliance issues we need to address,” Chief Deputy Bob Barnard said.

The jail also is seeing much less turnover, Barnard said. The jail had 28 employees in December 2014. It now has 40 employees.


Information from: Minot Daily News, http://www.minotdailynews.com

VIAThe Associated Press
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