By Max Hrenda
At least one county department is feeling the pinch after the county’s Budget Committee denied more than $27,000 in budget requests.
On Thursday night, the committee voted to deny $27,014.18 in budget increase requests, with most of those requests coming from the Carter County Sheriff’s Department.
The denials still leave the committee looking for $1,333,801.40 in cuts to balance the budget.
The sheriff’s department increases had been designated for maintaining the Carter County Jail and patrol duties.
During the meeting, Chief Deputy Ron Street told commissioners that over the past year, the sheriff’s department redistributed funds in its own office to deal with unforeseen costs.
“The only thing that got us by this year is we had (staffing) vacancies in the jail,” Street said. “We took $150,000 of that money at one time to try to meet some of those deficiencies we had both in the patrol budget and the jail budget. If we get fully staffed, we don’t have that luxury.”
Street then cautioned commissioners that his department would need to prepare to be fully staffed, because “it’s going to come.”
For the Carter County Jail, the department requested an increase of $86,000 for services including jail maintenance and the jail’s medical contract with Southern Health Partners.
Focusing on jail maintenance, Street told the committee that last year’s budget included no money to handle repair issues.