Grayson sheriff asks for more money

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By Ben Bomberger, Reporter

INDEPENDENCE — Grayson Sheriff Richard Vaughan was among department heads presenting county supervisors their budget requests for the 2010 fiscal year on March 11.

Last year, the sheriff's office was granted $684,238.

Vaughan — whose $53,689 department request was 7.8 percent higher than last year — explained his reasoning for the increase to the board of supervisors.

Supervisors' Chairman Mike Maynard questioned how the overall sheriff's department budget went up more than $250,000, state funding remained the same and yet Vaughan needed only an additional $54,000 from the county.

Vaughan said that revenue has gone up, as well, and would help offset the additional expenditures throughout the year.

Noteworthy requests in the sheriff's budget include:

• $75,000 for new vehicles. Vaughan said of the 26-car fleet, nine have mileage above 100,000.

Of the money requested, $36,000 would be used to cover payments for the five Dodge Chargers purchased last year.

The fleet is broken down into 14 patrol division units (which are recommended to be replaced at 110,000 miles). Those units average 22,000 miles per year, putting the life expectancy at five years maximum.

“We should be replacing five vehicles per year,” Vaughan said.

• $11,000 for education — a slight increase from last year, due to more trainable employees, Vaughan said.

It costs $285 to send one deputy to the Southwest Criminal Justice Training Academy.

• $20,450 for professional services.

Vaughan said this number was up slightly due to the installation of Computer Aided Dispatch. Along with the program, $5,250 is required yearly for software support.

• $8,400 for uniforms.

Vaughan said each deputy would receive $350 a year to maintain uniforms and equipment. Out of the $350, a deputy can get two uniforms and a pair of shoes.

• $6,000 was for construction and $3,000 for furniture.

Vaughan said the sheriff's department is preparing to begin the accreditation process through the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services. One of the requirements is to have a reception area for those entering the building to wait.

Plans are to move the magistrate's office to the other side of the building (the old jail side), and use that space to build a reception area.

The money requested would also furnish the room.

• $100,000 for grants, but Vaughan noted that the county would actually spend only $20,000 out of this fund, as most grants applied for require a 20 percent match from the department.

The department is required to spend the money first, and gets reimbursed later.

Vaughan also provided the supervisors with some numbers on revenue the department brings into the county.

Those revenues include:

• Motor Vehicle Ordinance — money that the locality keeps for traffic summonses — averages nearly $2,000 a month.

• Sheriff's Fees — money received through the courts for civil process and courtroom security — brings in $2,000 a month.

In total, Vaughan said his department is requesting a total of $1.89 million for operating expenditures in the upcoming fiscal year.

Of that money, the state will provide $997,005 in salaries and fringe benefits through the Compensation Board, while another $153,660 is expected to cover grant-funded salaries, benefits and/or equipment.

“Taking into account the revenue generated from conviction fees and fines, combined with the reimbursement from state and grant funds, the county is requested to provide $737,927 of taxpayers' dollars,” Vaughan said.

• Supervisors will begin breaking down the county budget at their first workshop April 14 at 6:30 p.m.