Sheriff's budget facing shortage [The Decatur Daily, Ala. :: ]
(Decatur Daily (AL) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Aug. 03--Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin has $132,500 less in her preliminary 2014-15 budget than she has this fiscal year.
Morgan County Commission Chairman Ray Long said the reason is because of reductions in employee cost. The next budget cycle starts Oct. 1.
The sheriff operates under two budgets: the general fund budget and jail budget. For fiscal 2015, the general fund has $3.52 million allotted. The jail budget will be $4.72 million, which is $169,400 less than this fiscal year. Long said this also is because of personnel changes.
For fiscal 2014, the sheriff's budget for salaries and wages is $2,171,523. It will be $2,090,981 for the new fiscal year.
Franklin said the Morgan County Jail has had employees retire or leave that were paid a higher pay rate than the beginning pay.
"Over the years what we have been able to do was to save money through people retiring and hiring back at the beginning pay rate, which was a huge savings," Franklin said. "We're hoping that maybe some of those changes in personnel would allow us to have a more reasonable amount of budget."
Long said hiring employees at a lower rate also saves money on health insurance. This fiscal year, the county budgeted $571,872, and has $558,444 for the next cycle.
After Franklin reviews the budget, she plans to make some requests for funds saved through personnel changes. For instance, the sheriff's general fund does not include an information technology item line. Franklin said she has used discretionary funds to pay for computers and maintenance.
Long said the preliminary budget will be sent to department heads to review.
"If they need more, and we think it's a reasonable request, we will change it," Long said.
Leah Cayson can be reached at 256-340-2445 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @DD_Leah.
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