With a 5-0 vote, the Richland County Board of Commissioners accepted a grant to improve the Richland County Courthouse.
Richland County will receive $628,115.18 to construct a central point of entry for security. The new entrance will connect the courthouse to the adjacent Richland County Law Enforcement Center, which is located in Wahpeton.
The single entrance will allow Richland County Jail personnel to directly transport inmates to the courthouse. Presently, inmates are transported building to building.
There will be a single entrance on the courthouse’s northern side, according to paperwork from the Court Facilities Improvement Advisory Committee.
The completed project is expected to cost $1.2 million. Richland County asked the improvement committee for 75 percent of costs and received about 50 percent, commissioners learned Tuesday, Feb. 4.
“There are some funds available,” Richland County Auditor Leslie Hage said. “We have approximately $173,000 in our capital improvements fund and an additional $61,000 in our special assessment fund.”
Richland County will need to levy for the additional project balance. Commissioners plan to levy 1 mill for about four years.
Earlier in the meeting, Richland County Emergency Manager Brett Lambrecht also gave information about a Jan. 19 fire south of Fairmount. Two residential trailers and a garage were affected by the fire. One of the residents received assistance from the American Red Cross. Commissioner Tim Campbell was on the scene, as were fire departments from Fairmount, Hankinson and Great Bend.
Preparations are underway for the spring flooding season. Lambrecht asked to issue an emergency declaration, which was approved by a 5-0 vote. Sandbag filling is expected to begin soon.
“I’m just prepping us for the worst, which hopefully we won’t have,” Lambrecht said.
Taxpayers should know about a discount on 2019 taxes due, Richland County Treasurer Sarah Erickson said.
Since Feb. 15 is a Saturday and Monday, Feb. 17 is a state holiday, any 2019 property taxes paid in full on or before Tuesday, Feb. 18 will be allowed the 5 percent discount, Erickson said on the county website. If payment is mailed, it must be postmarked no later than Tuesday, Feb. 18.
If the tax discount date falls when county offices are closed, North Dakota Century Code allows a payment on the day following without loss of the discount, she said.
Checks must be made payable to the Richland County Treasurer. The office is open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily and is located at the Richland County Courthouse.
The commissioners’ next meeting is 8 a.m. Tuesday, March 3 at the Richland County Courthouse, 418 Second Ave. N. in Wahpeton.