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County public safety budgets increase

March 30, 2005|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

The Washington County Sheriff's Department and the Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association asked the County Commissioners on Tuesday for budget increases totaling about $1.35 million for fiscal year 2006.

The Sheriff's Department requested an increase of about $1 million, while the Fire and Rescue Association asked for an increase of $346,263 over what it received from the county in the current fiscal year, according to information provided by the county.

Fiscal year 2006 begins July 1.

Jay Grimes of the Fire and Rescue Association said several factors have lead to the requested increase, including rising salary, fuel and maintenance costs.

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"Although we're having more fund-raisers, we're not producing the revenue that we need to maintain (the services) to protect the citizens of the county," Grimes told the commissioners.

The Fire and Rescue Association asked the commissioners for $3.02 million for fiscal year 2006, according to the county. That's an increase of 12.95 percent.

The commissioners gave the association $2.67 million in the current fiscal year, according to the county.

The Sheriff's Department's proposed fiscal year 2006 budget of $15.49 million is about $1 million more than the current fiscal year's budget of $14.45 million.

Capt. Douglas Mullendore said some of the department's expenses include three new computers for the Judicial Division and four TASER devices to step up security at the Washington County Courthouse and while serving warrants.

"It basically makes your muscles uncontrollable," Mullendore said of the TASER.

Also included in the Sheriff Department's proposed budget are 10 full-size patrol vehicles for $207,000.

Sheriff Charles F. Mades said the salaries and benefits make up 78 percent of the department's total budget.

The department's proposed $15.49 million total budget includes:

· $1.06 million for the Judicial Division, a $98,510 increase over the current year's budget of $965,820.

· $5.83 million for the Patrol Division, or $489,265 more than the current fiscal year's budget of $5.34 million.

· $8.05 million for the Detention Center, a $479,939 increase over the $7.57 million current budget.

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