Taxes, insurance increase budgets for sheriff, jail



June 29, 2011 - 12:00 AM

Sheriff Tom Williams requested an additional $214,000 for next year’s budget at Tuesday’s meeting of Allen County commissioners. That brings the budget for the law enforcement center to $1.725 million.
Williams said the increase is due to increased insurance costs, federal taxes to fund Social Security and Medicare and higher local contributions to the Kansas Public Employee Retirement System.
The budget increases come despite cuts totaling about $100,000 in discretionary spending the sheriff has made, he said. He anticipates no employee raises, may not replace a deputy, which will keep the department one patrol officers short at nine, and will be frugal in replacing vehicles, Williams said.
An alternative would be to reduce patrol mileage, which he did not prefer, he said.
Broken out by departments, the sheriff’s budget was predicted at $899,587, while that for operation of the jail was put at $826,118. The sheriff’s budget also includes money for emergency management services, headed by Pam Beasley.
Dispatch is a public safety function funded separately from the sheriff’s department, as is the county ambulance service. Ambulance expenditures are predicted this year at $1.3 million, not including the $80,000 subsidy sent Iola’s way to operate ambulances independent of the county.
Jason Nelson, ambulance director, and commissioners talked finances but didn’t settle on a specific budget number for 2012, although it is likely to be relatively close to this year’s.
Through June 21, Nelson said revenue generated by the ambulance service was $40,000 ahead of the same date in 2010 at $301.805.49. That came from 601 runs, 68 above a year ago. Crews have dealt with 154 trauma cases, 368 medical responses and have done 166 hospital transfers.
The ambulance service is supported by tax money in addition to revenue it raises.

A WEEK ago commissioners said they would consider construction of a storm shelter in Moran, probably associated with the senior/community center.
Beasley said she had looked into shelters and noted that one LaHarpe built, rated to hold 30 people, cost about $20,000.
According to one report she found on the Internet, a shelter to hold 68 people would cost about $31,000, she said, while one holding 110 would cost a touch over $42,000.
Commissioners made no commitment.

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