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Ward County commissioners denied a request Tuesday for an after prison program to use rooms from the administration building almost every work day of the week. The denial was due to scheduling conflicts and rental agreements that the primary use of those rooms be for county business. (Photo: Lydia Hoverson/The Dakotan)
Ward County commissioners denied a request Tuesday for an after prison program to use rooms from the administration building almost every work day of the week. The denial was due to scheduling conflicts and rental agreements that the primary use of those rooms be for county business. (Photo: Lydia Hoverson/The Dakotan)

No Room for After Prison Program 

Lydia Hoverson
 November 1, 2022
 •

Program Requesting Space from County Building 

lydia.hoverson@mydakotan.com  

MINOT – County commissioners denied Tuesday a request for the use of meeting rooms by an after prison program. 

Brian Vangsness, facilities management director for Ward County, told the commissioners he had received an emailed letter from a program that deals with inmates released from prison, requesting to rent two meeting rooms in the county administration building.  

“It wasn’t real specific on how long it was going to be,” Vangsness explained.  

County Auditor Marisa Haman said there are already rental agreements, which include that the primary use for those rooms be for the county and other government related organizations.  

“It looks like they were asking for 1-3 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 4-5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday,” said Haman. “My biggest concern is we have other departments who need the meeting rooms.” 

“That’s a total use of the room,” said Commissioner Shelly Weppler. “That’s not what I think it’s meant for.” 

State’s Attorney Roza Larson said from how she read the email, the program seemed to be new and hasn’t found space for its services. 

The commissioners unanimously voted to send a letter back to the program stating the county cannot provide space for those times. 

“I’d also like to put in there that we don’t in any way disregard the program or its importance,” said Commissioner John Pietsch. “It’s just that it doesn’t necessarily work with what our scheduling requirements are.” 

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