- Associated Press - Thursday, June 30, 2016

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - Officials are into the second phase of a $55 million Williams County expansion project.

Crews last week demolished a building to make way for a three-story addition to the Administration Building in the county that’s in the heart of the western oil patch. The 29,000-square-foot structure will accommodate all county departments in their own suite.

“Our goal is to centralize all administrative departments in one building to provide members of the public with quick and easy access,” County Communications Officer Melody Miluer told the Williston Herald (https://bit.ly/292WS3K ).

The first phase of the expansion project began in April, when an apartment building was leveled to provide space for a 51,000-square-foot jail addition with 108 beds. The jail has dealt with crowding issues as the population in the region increased with the recent oil boom. The existing jail can hold 132 inmates, but prisoner counts have reached as high as 140, and the county has been paying a corrections facility in Montana to house some prisoners. The expanded jail will hold 240 inmates.

Renovations to the Williams County Courthouse will be the final phase of the expansion project. That’s slated to begin in fall 2017.

More than $38 million of the project cost will come from reserves, permit fees and sales tax revenues, according to the county’s finance department. The rest likely will be borrowed from the state-owned Bank of North Dakota.

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Information from: Williston Herald, https://www.willistonherald.com

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