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County Land Values Increase

By Staff | Jun 5, 2015

At a regular meeting Tuesday morning, the Pierce County Board of County Commissioners learned from Tax Equalization Director Kelsey Siegler that true and full values of agricultural, residential and commercial lands, as well as taxes from one mill have increased from 2014 values.

The true and full value for county residential land this year was $124,830,499, a 0.5 percent increase from 2014 values of $122,250,283. The true and full value for ag land was $341,214,955, a three percent increase from $330,109,851 in 2014. True and full values for commercial land increased by four percent countywide and by two percent for structures, with the exception of Rugby structures valued between $33,450 and $200,000 which increased six to 25 percent. The total value for commercial was $37,290,604, an eight percent increase from $34,374,553 in 2014. Overall values were $503,336,058, a three percent increase from last year’s $486,734,687.

Taxes from one mill for all three lands were $24,542.65, up $817.16 from last year.

Siegler shared with the board 2015 assessed values per acre for agricultural lands, including crop and non-crop lands, from the Office of the State Tax Commissioner. Assessed values for crop land in Pierce County for 2015 were $686.06, for non-crop land were $154.75 and for all ag lands were $570.05. The statewide average per acre this year, as estimated by North Dakota State University’s Agribusiness and Applied Economics Department, was $804.04 for crop land, $140 for non-crop land and $598.13 for all ag land.

Siegler also shared with the board 2015 land sales; a breakdown of tax monies allocated, per $1,000 of taxes paid by the cities of Rugby, Wolford and Balta and the townships; and inundated land applications, which the board approved.



The board and Emergency Services Director (Kelsey) Siegler discussed the possibility of rescinding or modifying a burn ban signed by Commission Chairman Duane Johnston.

Siegler gave the board an option to ban burning when the fire danger index is from very high to extreme, unless permission is granted by fire district chiefs and the Sheriff’s office is notified. The board instructed Siegler to draw up a ban declaration, which will be looked at during the July meeting.


The board received an update from Jessica Tagestad, of Wold Engineering, on the Orrin and Hillside Township road projects.

In Hillside, an environmental assessment is almost complete for FEMA approval of the permanent alternate route project.

Reshaping and graveling is nearing completion on the Orrin road.

HB 1176 funds were also discussed (of which the county will receive over $1.6 million over the 2015-17 biennium). Tagestad shared with the board that a meeting regarding the funds is coming up in July. Overlay projects on the Selz and Balta roads were discussed, as well as an upcoming alternate route project in Juniata Township.

Tagestad also informed the board that Twin Cities, Minn.-based Braun Intertec would be testing material on the Balta road.


Heart of America Correctional & Treatment Center Administrator Mike Graner informed the board that the facility is housing 11 female inmates from the Department of Corrections, and four more are on the way.

Graner said those numbers are to steadily increase, and that the D.O.C. contract allows for ample review time.

Graner informed the board the facility housed 115 inmates in May but Ward County was keeping the facility busy; contracts for Mountrail, Williams and Burke counties are up for renewal and a recently-purchased new transfer vehicle needed repairs. The board approved bills and financial statements for HACTC.

The board approved a transfer of $100,000 from the HACTC fund to the general fund.


The board put into place a new policy regarding encroachment on farm-to-market right-of-ways. If encroachment is discovered, a written warning will be given the first time and $500 thereafter, per year.


Sheriff Josh Siegler informed the board the Sheriff’s vehicle is experiencing electrical issues and inquired as to the possibility of changing out a vehicle. Siegler said the county could get funds for a new vehicle from an oil-impact grant. The board instructed Siegler to get some bids.

The board reviewed and approved a proposed approach and fence location for Central Power’s Wolford substation. The approach, which was approved by the N.D. Department of Transportation, will be located 331 feet south of the center line of N.D. Highway 17 and will be 30 feet wide with an 18-inch culvert. Once the outlot plat is complete and recorded, a variance will be filed for the fence, which will be located 110 feet east of the west section line.

The board approved a 2013 Homestead Tax Credit abatement for Janet Klebe, Rugby, for $54,948 for White’s 2nd Addition, Lots 6-8 and the eastern half of Lot 9 Block 12.

The board approved a request from the Devils Lake Basin Joint Water Resource Board – which serves Pierce, Rolette, Towner, Walsh, Nelson, Eddy and Cavalier counties – to utilize $5,700 as part of a cost share program to repair the Tolna Dam, which is part of the Tolna Coulee. The dam failed in March and the N.D. State Water Commission conducted emergency repairs on it.

The board approved canceling treasurers checks in the amount of $8.34 to Kevin Bachmeier, $43.39 to Steven Meier, $37.80 to Gerald & JoAnn Worsley and $32.47 to A & E Parts in accordance with the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act, or chapter 47-30.1 of the North Dakota Century Code. The checks in question were over a year old or more and were not claimed.

The board approve payments of $1,855.04 to Tofte Township, $2,378.30 to Juniata Township, $7,451.51 to Ness Township and $5,159.54 to Reno Valley Township from the 2013 Disaster Fund for road repair projects.

The board approved a gaming site authorization for Larry’s Bar in Selz.

The board approved the minutes of the May regular and special meetings, bills and financial statements.

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