The budget amendment moved $120,500 from the general fund budget to cover vehicle maintenance, gasoline and other contracted services, as well as expenses for the jail.
The approved amount was suggested by Finance Committee Chair Connie Wilson through elimination of funds requested for data processing and cutting the other amounts, except for gasoline, in half.
The original amount requested was more than $200,000. The request was made to fund services and needs cut from the budget when departments were asked to decrease their budgets by 4.5 percent.
Debbie Evans of the Sheriff’s Office said an increase in gas prices and the jail’s budget for other contracted services being reduced to zero during the budget process also contributed to the request.
“We did a terrible disservice to the Sheriff’s Office when we approved last year’s budget,” Commissioner Ed Elkins said.
Elkins said the cuts kept the budget from having enough to operate the Sheriff’s Office and the jail.
During the meeting Wednesday, Elkins and Wilson presented information to the committee on what had been cut from the budget and what needed to be funded to complete the fiscal year. Elkins presented a comparison of the 2009-10 budget to what was originally requested for 2010-11. Elkins said some budget amendments had already been made in these areas to provide funding that had been cut.
The committee also approved a request for five gas cards for the Sheriff’s Office to use for out-of-town business. The monthly use of these cards is not to exceed $5,000.
The budget process for the next fiscal year has already begun. During the meeting Wednesday, the Finance Committee determined the BCSO, the justice center, Bradley County 911 Center, Agricultural Extension Service, county coroner/medical examiner, Juvenile Detention Center and juvenile services will be required to come to budget hearings Tuesday. The committee is going to try to have all the budget hearings done in one day since some of the department’s budgets will be presented by the same people.
The committee delayed a decision to grant a budget amendment request from the medical examiner’s budget to give the department $20,000 out of the general fund.
The committee also passed a motion to bring a proposal to the full Commission to split the cost of an environmental test needed for a retention pond near the Benjamin Crest subdivision with the city of Cleveland.