Pocahontas County Sheriffs Dept Running Low On Money In Some Budget Items
Marlinton, WV – The budget for law enforcement overtime in the Pocahontas County Sheriffs’ Department is in critical condition. At the Pocahontas County Commission meeting Tuesday night, Sheriff David Jonese told the Commissioners there’s only $8.34 left in the budget for overtime, out of $30,000.00 that was budgeted for 2010-2011 fiscal year. With 5 and a half months left in this fiscal year, the Sheriff is scrambling to find other funding to cover overtime costs.
With this in mind, the Sheriff asked the Commission Tuesday night to move money from his capital outlay budget to overtime. The Commission had approved $33,000.00 for capital outlay, intended to be used to purchase a new vehicle for the department. That was based on the price for a new Dodge Durango SUV, the type of vehicle purchased under the previous Sheriff.
However, Sheriff Jonese purchased a different model that only costs about half as much as a Durango. He’d like to move $5000.00 of the remaining capital outlay funds to his overtime account. Commission President David Fleming is uncomfortable with that request.
“I feel reluctant to set a precedent of transferring out of capital outlay for overtime request, or actually let me be more clear, transferring capital outlay for any request” says Fleming. “I don’t feel comfortable doing that at this time.”
Commissioner Jamie Walker is skeptical that an additional $5000.00 will be enough to last the rest of fiscal year.
“If we’ve already spent $30,000.00 up to this point, I don’t see how $5000.00 is going [to] anywhere come close to getting us through the next six months” says Walker.
Sheriff Jonese says the biggest overtime costs come during the summer and fall. He says they go through about two thirds of the overtime budget during those times.
The Commissioners and the Sheriff went into a closed door session to discuss a transfer from other accounts in the Sheriffs budget, but ultimately took no action on the budget transfer request.
The Commissioners did approve a budget revision for Circuit Clerk Connie Carr to pay for some extra part time help in the clerks’ office. They also gave County Clerk Melissa Bennett preliminary approval to hire a full time employee in her office to fill one of two positions currently unstaffed.
The next meeting of the Pocahontas County Commission will be Tuesday, February 1st.