The Herald Bulletin

November 13, 2012

Stopgap public safety funding approved by County Council

$177,070 still isn’t enough, sheriff says

By Stuart Hirsch
The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. — The Madison County Council on Tuesday approved $177,070 in emergency funding for the sheriff’s department and jail, but it’s still far less than what Sheriff Ron Richardson said is needed through the end of the year.

He presented the council with $363,602 in supplemental budget requests for 2012. Many of the requests for operating expenses — such as overtime ($68,420), medical services ($32,112) and utilities ($58,320) — have been pending with the council for months.

The largest single request was for $120,000, which the sheriff said is needed to pay to house inmates in Blackford and now Jay counties to relieve jail overcrowding in Madison County.

Council Democrats John Bostic, Buddy Patterson and Larry Higgins wanted to appropriate $80,000 to cover those costs. The council’s Republican majority, however, reduced that request to $60,000 and urged Richardson and his staff to search for areas within their existing budget to finance some of those expenses. Council President Mike Phipps and Councilman Mike Gaskill said information they have shows that salary accounts are trending lower.

Capt. Jim Cleaver, however, told the council that his account records show that some of those accounts are already operating in the red. After the council vote, he said the money appropriated “will simply get us through this billing cycle.”

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