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County board reviews sheriff’s reports, bids at June meeting

By Staff | Jun 12, 2021

Pierce County Sheriff’s deputies responded to 53 total calls in May, according to a report given to the Pierce County Board of Commissioners at their regular June 1 meeting by Sheriff Josh Siegler.

The number is slightly higher than the total for April, when deputies responded to 51 calls. May calls included five medical calls, six fire calls, one traffic collision, seven prisoner transports, four warrants served and 26 papers served. The department also responded to 13 calls for assistance from other agencies.

Deputies made seven arrests – two for burn ban violations, one for driving under the influence and four for outstanding warrants.

Commissioners also heard a report by Heart of America Correctional and Treatment Center Administrator Mike Graner.

Graner said the inmate population for the facility averaged 97 for May, with a high of 105. The inmate count for June 1 sat at 94. The jail housed seven Pierce County inmates in May. The booking count for the month was 41, with 42 releases.

Graner reported the facility saw a profit of $3,974.33 for the month of April. Graner added 23 of 24 correctional officer positions had been filled. The open position has been advertised on job website indeed.com.

The board also reviewed a food service contract for the facility to begin July 1 and end June 30, 2022. Graner told the commissioners food service costs would increase 3.7 percent. Graner also presented projection scenarios for the 2022 budget year, which included inmate boarding revenues from North Dakota counties served by the facility and the U,S. Marshal Service. Revenues ranged from $79 to $80 per day for U.S. Marshal Service inmates and $76-$77 per day for inmates from North Dakota counties.

Commissioners approved the purchase of a Chrysler Voyager van for the facility at a cost of $25,702 from Drive Chevrolet of Rugby. The board also approved extra charges for adding partitions and a radio system to the vehicle.

Commissioners also held two public hearings at their regular meeting.

The board heard a petition for a conditional use permit submitted by Central Point Landfill and Transfer Station, LLC, located in central rural Pierce County. Dan Ruby of Rugby Sanitation answered questions from board members. Commissioners approved the request on the condition the company follows all state, federal and local guidelines and does not exceed five loads of gravel as needed within one-half mile of the station.

Commissioners also held a hearing on a conditional use permit request submitted by Susag Sand and Gravel for a gravel pit located in southern Pierce County. The board approved the request.

The board also reviewed and approved an application for utility and road drilling on land with Pierce County right of way by North Dakota Telephone Company south of Rugby.

Commissioners also reviewed and approved a request to authorize Chairman David Migler, County Auditor Karin Fursather and State’s Attorney Galen Mack to sign a federal aid contract with the North Dakota Department of Transportation and Rugby firm B and J Excavating on a road project in rural Pierce County.

The board also asked Mack to review a matter concerning farming done on county right of way land. Mack told the board he would send letters advising those violating right of way of $500 fees that would be assessed on the parcels lying in the disputed area.

Mack and the board reviewed a bid by RDO Equipment, Inc. to supply the county with a new four-wheel drive motor grader for $345,500. The board approved the purchase of the grader.

Board members also discussed a bid by Otis Elevator, Inc. to upgrade the elevator in the Pierce County Courthouse. Commissioner Ashley Berg told the board she would relay questions board members had for the company before a vote.

Another bid went before the board to demolish property on First Street Northeast in Rugby. Commissioners approved a $7,500 bid to do the work.

In other business, commissioners approved a tax abatement request by a Rugby resident qualifying for the North Dakota Homestead Tax Credit program.

Pierce County commissioners will hold their next regular meeting July 6 at 8 a.m. at the Pierce County Courthouse.

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