Sheriff asks for less than half percent more

EMS seeks additional 9.8%

March 01, 2011|By DON AINES |

Preliminary public safety budget requests to the Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday ranged from less than a half a percent increase from Sheriff Douglas Mullendore to a nearly double-digit increase sought by Division of Emergency Services Director Kevin Lewis.

Mullendore is requesting $22,767,750 in fiscal 2012, which begins July 1, an increase of 0.46 percent over his 2011 budget.

The biggest portion of the sheriff's budget is more than $11.4 million for the Washington County Detention Center. Much of the $109,770 extra he is requesting for the center is due to contracted increases tied to inflation, he said.

The cost of inmate medical care will go up $54,810 to more than $1 million, Mullendore said. The food services contract will increase by $19,000, he said.

Mullendore told the board the patrol budget request is about $2,000 less than 2011 at $7,853,520. There also were small decreases in requests for Central Booking, the Narcotics Task Force and Process Servers.

The judicial budget request for courthouse security was increased $19,340 over 2011 to $2,068,230.

The cost of care insurance was up substantially, Mullendore told commissioners.

Workers compensation for the Fire and Rescue Association and additional personnel for 911 Communications were two of the biggest increases in the emergency services budget request.

The preliminary budget request was $11.1 million, an increase of almost $990,000, or 9.81 percent.

Workers compensation will costs will increase more than $308,000 due in part to the number of claims, Lewis told commissioners.

"Anyone who rides a truck and ... is in the fire zone will be required to take a physical," Washington County Association of Volunteer Fire and Rescue Companies President Glenn Fishack said. That could reduce workers compensation claims by making sure firefighters are fit for duty and spotting pre-existing conditions, he said.

The budget request for 911 Communications includes requests for $257,770 in additional personnel requests, including salaries and benefits for three additional call-takers and $105,800 more for overtime, according to the executive summary.

Consolidating the 911 center last year accounts for much of the increase, Lewis told the commissioners. That includes dispatching Maryland State Police, along with local police, fire and ambulance, he said.

While the state police are not paying for dispatching operations, the state did put $5.8 million into the building of the center, Lewis said.

The number of emergency and nonemergency calls handled by the county rose from 197,244 in 2009 to 384,336 in 2010, according to figures in the budget.

The requests for Special Operations, Fire and Rescue Operations, and the Air Unit were also up for 2012, although Lewis proposed a 9 percent decrease for Emergency Management.

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