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Commissioners present 2022 budget proposal at public hearing

By Sue Sitter - | Sep 18, 2021

The Pierce County Board of Commissioners presented a proposed budget for 2022 at a hearing held at 10 a.m. Sept. 14 at the county courthouse.

The budget proposes a 10-mill increase for the county general fund, primarily to pay for repairs to the courthouse dome and elevator, according to Commission Chair David Migler, who introduced the budget.

The commission sent a letter to Pierce County property taxpayers along with their estimated tax statements in September breaking down expenditures from the general fund. The three-phase dome repair plan for the courthouse, which is listed on the North Dakota Register of Historic Places, begins June 2022 and ends in 2024. The first phase will cost $160,360; the second phase will cost $177,243 and the third phase, which repairs the courthouse’s cornice, will cost $183,000. Additionally, the letter estimated repairs to the elevator would cost $72,500, while repairs to the north steps of the courthouse would cost $46,868.

The letter explained needed repairs to the courthouse parking lot would be put on hold until the commissioners consider the impact of payments needed for the county’s portion of a Highway 3 upgrade project in 2022.

The budget includes transfers from the general fund to Heart of America Correctional and Treatment Center (HACTC) and the SIRN 20/20 state radio project for emergency radio communications.

The county’s general fund allots 51.87 percent to general government functions; 37.13 percent to public safety; 0.46 percent to health and welfare; 1.48 percent to culture and recreation; 0.19 percent to conservation of natural resources and 8.93 percent to miscellaneous expenses.

Other county funds covering needs ranging from roads and bridges to the Pierce County NDSU extension agent would see an increase of approximately 1.38 mills. Auditor/Treasurer Karin Fursather estimated the value of one mill at $34,257.48.

Mike Graner, administrator at HACTC, appeared at the hearing along with two employees from the facility. Graner said he was there to “lend support” to the jail.

However, no members of the public appeared at the hearing.

The county will vote on the proposed 2022 budget at a special meeting to be held Oct. 7.

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