By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

Sheriff’s budget better off than last year

The Sheriff’s Office budget is in better shape than last year, Sheriff Sam Elliott told commissioners on Thursday, and he doesn’t anticipate needing to request more money for jail or patrol operations.

However, county Administrator Ken Huffer noted the department will need additional money for Dog Control and Marine Patrol.

Elliott said the county’s contract to house excess prisoners from the Washington County Jail is helping to bolster his department.

The contract expires at the end of June, Elliott said, but is expected to be renewed for another year.

“So, I don’t look at that as a long-term thing or a thing I want to rely on, but it does allow us another year to fill the gaps,” he told commissioners.

According to Huffer and Elliott, the county will likely need to come up with about $150,000 to fund Dog Control, with Huffer telling commissioners it is “something to have in the back of your head,” as the budget season approaches.

The county’s budget committee will begin meeting on April 29, for three days of reviewing all department budgets and considering any requests for additional funding. The budget committee consists of the three county commissioners and three lay members. On Thursday, commissioners appointed Greg Thorsgard from a field of four applicants, to fill out the term of Doreen App, who has withdrawn from the committee.

In order to run marine patrols this summer, Elliott said, the county will need at least $41,875, added to a $20,000 allocation last year, to match what it receives from the state.

“Our grant continues to decrease each biennium, for a lot of reasons, primarily that boat registration continues to decline,” Elliott told commissioners.

In other business, commissioners adopted a construction erosion and sediment control code and approved a contract with Haworth Inc. for construction of the Pike Road Bridge replacement, for $494,209.50.

Commissioners also approved a contract for grand jury training.

They held an executive session before the meeting, to “conduct deliberations with persons designated to negotiate real property transactions.”


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