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Deputy position funds OK'd
Money is shifted to restore one job
Friday, April 9, 2010
By DEBBIE HALL - Bulletin Staff Writer
Henry County officials are proposing to shift budget funds to cover the salary of a sheriff's deputy in fiscal 2011.
The move will restore one of three positions lost in the sheriff's office last year due to state budget cuts.
Sheriff Lane Perry and Henry County Sheriff's Maj. Steve Eanes have said their staff is stretched due to less state revenues and cut positions, combined with increased calls. Eanes has said the county sheriff's office has lost six deputies in the past two years.
At a budget work session Thursday, the Henry County Board of Supervisors agreed to take $35,000 in the 2011 budget for "Other Post Employment Benefits" (OPEB) and use it to pay most of a deputy's salary. That fund covers benefits for retired county employees.
The hole in the 2011 OPEB fund will be plugged with $35,000 left over from the current year's Industrial Development Authority budget.
Henry County Administrator Benny Summerlin estimated it will cost $42,000 to fund the entire position. He said he will work with Perry to find the additional $7,000 in the sheriff's budget.
The recommendation to fund the post came out of a meeting Tuesday between Summerlin, board Chairman Debra Buchanan, Vice Chairman H.G. Vaughn, Perry and others to determine "how to make sure" county ordinances were enforced, Summerlin said.
Other options from that meeting were not discussed Thursday.
At Thursday's work session, Perry said his office is committed to "working in all areas ... We never want to tell anyone no."�
He also endorsed the recommendation.
"This is a good plan," Perry said, and added the officer primarily will enforce county ordinances relating to junk cars, abandoned mobile homes and related mandates.
That was the only change in the $109.4 million fiscal 2011 Henry County budget plan agreed to at Thursday's work session. The supervisors received the proposal on Tuesday and will vote on it later this month, officials said.
A public hearing on the plan will be at 7 p.m. April 19 in the Henry County Administration Building.
Following Thursday's meeting, Buchanan said she thinks most people "understand that we have a limited amount of money to work with and no increase in revenue."�
The spending proposal represents a 6.9 percent decrease, more than $8 million, from the current fiscal year budget that will end June 30.
The proposal includes no tax hikes, cuts staff by 4.5 positions and provides level funding of $17,077,895 to the school system. It includes no pay raises for county employees.
Positions eliminated include a school resource officer post, firefighter and emergency medical technician teaching positions in the schools and a refuse collection post.