Franklin County Sheriff Gary Toelke said his new budget is designed to hold the line on capital expenditures and large purchases.
In the past year, the department made several major expenditures to replace things like patrol car cameras, radar guns, jail equipment and computer upgrades, Toelke said.
“Hopefully, the equipment we have now will get us through 2014,” the sheriff remarked.
“We can always get hit with surprises, but we didn’t budget for any large expenditures,” Toelke said.
The county’s new fiscal year budget takes effect Jan. 1.
Budgets for both the sheriff’s department and the adult detention facility are relatively unchanged from last year.
The total budget for the sheriff’s office is $7,442,787, up slightly from the 2013 budget of $7,441,924.
There’s a slightly bigger increase in the jail budget which is $2,851,969 for the coming year compared to $2,672,031 for 2013.
Following is a breakdown of the various expenditures comparisons to last year:
Wages and Benefits — $5,423,762, 2014; $5,250,680, 2013.
Services (maintenance and repairs for vehicles, equipment and building) — $898,350, 2014; $1,064,069, 2013.
Supplies — $462,300, 2014; $461,800, 2013.
Capital Expenditures — $658,375, 2014; $665,375, 2013.
Wages and benefits — $2,143,469 in 2014; $2,040,031, 2013.
Services (maintenance and repairs for vehicles, equipment and building) — $687,000, 2014; $612,000, 2013.
Supplies — $21,500, 2014; $20,000, 2013.
The new budget includes funds for 1.5 percent cost-of-living raises for all personnel plus additional 1.5 percent raises based on merit.
The department’s budget message notes that spending was increased in the jail maintenance budget to cover the possibility of needing to repair the fire alarm system, repair locks in the jail and overlay the asphalt in the rear compound of the facility.
The average daily jail population stands at 122, and the department anticipates it will have booked more than 5,000 suspects by the end of 2013.
Toelke said his staff initially thought they would have to replace patrol car computers, which have become an important tool for the department, due to an operating system upgrade.
However, he said they were able to find a company that could upgrade the existing computers to handle the change which will result in significant savings.
The sheriff said the department also is looking to reduce costs by switching from an analog phone line to a microwave line for radio communications.
Toelke, in his budget message, noted that members of the Franklin County Narcotics Enforcement Unit continue to handle a large volume of calls and situations that the road patrol and detective bureau don’t have time to address.
The task force continues to be a successful operation despite significant cuts in federal funding, Toelke noted.
He said the task force was featured on a cable television program called “Meth Busters” this year.
Toelke said the detective bureau has been faced with new challenges in the past few years, mainly in the area of computer crimes including child pornography distribution, Internet fraud, harassment and identity theft.
“This year, the detective bureau has seen an increase in metal thefts,” Toelke said. “The theft of phone cables has been very costly. It has resulted in the loss of phone and computer service in various areas of the county, shutting down banks and businesses.”