The overall budget for the Franklin County Sheriff’s department will increase slightly this year, but aging equipment and infrastructure will be a draw on the budget.
County Auditor Tammy Vemmer explained there are several law enforcement funds that go into the overall sheriff budget.
Sheriff expenditures are expected to be $8,360,958, grant expenditures will be $612,529 and jail expenses are budgeted at $3,292,602.
These three funds combined with emergency reserves make for an overall sheriff department budget of $14,144,473, the third largest disbursement of county funds for 2017.
With a beginning fund balance of $3,278,679, funding for the additional $10 million to round out this fund comes from Franklin County’s two quarter-cent sales taxes, which generates the majority of the money for this budget.
According to the auditor’s report, here is where the money comes from:
• Taxes — $6,300,000 — 58 percent;
• Transfers in — $3,203,322 — 29.5 percent;
• Charges for services — $816,300 — 7.5 percent;
• Federal and state grants — $545,172 — 5 percent;
• Other revenue — $1,000 — less than 1 percent.
Continuing with the theme throughout the county departments, most of the money in the budget goes to pay employees.
• Salaries and benefits — $9,218,464 — 65.1 percent;
• Emergency reserve — $1,878,384 — 13.3 percent;
• Services — $1,750,350 — 12.4 percent.
The remaining 10 percent of the sheriff’s budget goes toward capital outlay ($786,350) and supplies ($510,925).
Transfers from the general fund are down $321,668 due to salaries and benefits of the dispatchers now being budgeted under the county 911 budget for 2017.
An additional $50,000 was cut from the telephone budget due to the removal of circuits and an additional $30,000 has been added to the 2017 budget for training.
A part of the 2017 budget, Sheriff Steve Pelton also laid out several areas in which his department will be seeking or saving funds this year and the next few.
They include some grants that will no longer be available, the addition of deputies and support staff at headquarters, equipment upgrades (vests, tasers, computers and body cameras), communications, evidence storage, and promoting a deputy to a newly formed lieutenant position.
Several budget concerns also exist at the jail facility, which will plague the sheriff’s budget for the next several years.
Inmates will now be able to make phone calls for a cheaper amount, new laws have created Class E crimes, punishable by up to a year sentence in the county jail, which could put additional strain on inmate population.
In an effort to save money, inmates will now be charged a co-pay of $10 or $15 to see medical professionals. The department is also currently conducting a pre-trial release program for qualified inmates to alleviate jail overcrowding.