Sheriff’s budget holds steady | SteamboatToday.com

Sheriff’s budget holds steady

Commissioners indicate they will not allow 2 new positions

Zach Fridell

— The budget for the Routt County Sheriff’s Office will hold steady for the coming year.

During a budget presentation to the Routt County Board of Commissioners on Monday, Routt County Finance Director Dan Strnad spelled out a few minor changes, as well as a couple proposals, that likely will be turned down by the commissioners before final adoption of the budget.

The Sheriff’s Office is expected to gain $47,850 in revenues in 2010, largely because the county adopted the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Model Traffic Code. That code, adopted early this year, increased the fines for traffic offenses and kept some of the proceeds in the county, generating a projected $45,000 in 2009.

Undersheriff Dave Bustos, presenting with Strnad and accounting manager Mary Sue Sorenson, said he’s happy with the budget but that the department still has a long list of potential capital expenses and two salaried positions.

The addition of a county school resource officer and an additional investigator were denied by the commissioners last year, and the commissioners said the same positions are unlikely to be approved this year.

Commissioners also indicated they are skeptical of several capital expenditures, including a $30,000 request for 25 defibrillators for all patrol, animal control, sheriff and undersheriff vehicles.

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“It still bothers me we’re trying to make these decisions in a vacuum without knowing, without hearing from health professionals,” Commissioner Doug Monger said.

“We haven’t had them for 100 years, so I don’t want to come up with them in one year,” Monger said, adding that he would support their purchase if it is proven they save lives.

County Manager Tom Sullivan offered to bring more documentation about the defibrillators before the final decision.

Other requested expenditures included $68,755 for 23 radios on the 800-megahertz system, and $168,000 for the replacement of four Ford Explorers that have reached 100,000 miles.

The 2010 budget for the Routt County Jail and associated staffing is $2.06 million, and the 2010 budget for the Sheriff’s Office is $2.48 million.

The commissioners will consider the overall budget, including the Sheriff’s Office requests, during budget meetings Monday and Oct. 23.

– To reach Zach Fridell, call 871-4208 or e-mail zfridell@steamboatpilot.com