Old Cars Drive Sheriff’s Budget Request
KEVIN HALPERN, Courier Co-Editor
First the Cannon County Sheriff’s Department and then the Cannon County Fire Board presented their budget proposals to the Budget Committee of the Cannon County Commission Thursday night.
The Budget Committee is in the process of gathering information for the Fiscal Year 2012-2013 budget that it will recommend to the full commission for consideration.
Cannon County Sheriff Darrell Young is requesting a total budget of $1,716,657 to fund the department during the next fiscal year, which starts on July 1.
The sheriff’s budget is divided into two parts. One deals with the costs associated with providing law enforcement (deputies, investigators, patrol cars, etc.) and the other with the expense involved in operating the jail facility (guards, transport personnel, food, etc.).
The budget request for law enforcement for FY2012-2013 is $939,466. That amount represents an increase of $22,725 over this year’s expenditures.
The bulk of the new money would be used to purchase a patrol car. The newest car in the sheriff’s fleet was purchased in 2007 and has 90,000-plus miles on it. The oldest was bought in 2000 and has over 200,000 miles.
Continuing to operate older vehicles can also fuel an additional need for maintenance and gasoline expenditures.
The sheriff’s jail budget request for the upcoming fiscal year totals $777,211, up from $763,111 this year. Most of the increase ($10,106) is for guards, of which there are 10. However, the jail does foresee needing close to $2,300 less for medical and dental services for prisoners.
The total sheriff’s department proposed increase is $36,825. Through April 30 of this fiscal year, the department has taken in over $184,000 in revenue, most of it coming from cash bonds and housing state prisoners.
The county’s current property tax rate is $2.44. The General Fund’s portion of that is $1.335. The projected share for the sheriff’s department for next year is 85.5 cents. The schools receive 90.5 cents.
• Chairman Michael Underhill presented the Fire Board’s FY2012-2013 request to the Budget Committee. The Board is seeking $119,134 for operations.
Estimated expenses for this year are projected to be $65,339 when it ends on June 30, meaning an increase of nearly $54,000 is being requested.
According to Underhill, the largest portions of the additional money is needed for firefighting uniforms (+ $8,000), computers (+ $7,000), communications equipment (+ $5,500) and contracts with other agencies (+ $8,200).
The county’s fire departments will need to switch to narrow band radios to comply with new FCC requirements. Their computer equipment has become outdated.
Not included in the request is two fire trucks, which the county commission has already approved and will be paid for out of the Debt Service Fund.
• The Budget Committee also reviewed the Emergency Management budget request Thursday, which totals $13,760, the same as this year. Next Thursday (June 7) it will discuss the Election Commission and Rescue Squad proposals. The only major department still to come before the committee completes the initial stages of its work is the Cannon County Schools.