County Judge sets hearing on Public Safety, Jail Maintenance Taxes

Because of an anticipated shortfall in revenue generated by the Public Safety Sales Tax and the Detention Facilities Sales Tax, Jefferson County Judge Dutch King has called a special hearing on how to deal with that shortfall.

That hearing will immediately follow the monthly meeting of the Quorum Court Tuesday, which begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Quorum Courtroom.

A memorandum from King to the members of the county’s legislative body said that the budgets of the Adult Jail, Juvenile Detention Center, District Court, and all the departments who receive funds from the public safety sales tax (Sheriff’s Department, Juvenile Detention Center and Rural Fire Protection) will be affected by the shortfall.

Due to financial constraints and decreased revenues, county departments and agencies will continue to operate on the budgets they received for this year unless changes are approved by the Quorum Court, King said in the memorandum.

Also Tuesday, a proposed appropriation ordinance was made to transfer $6,000 from the County Clerk’s Cost Fund to the County General Fund, then to the Clerk’s General Fund. County Clerk Patricia Royal Johnson said in a letter to King that the money will be used for maintenance and operations for the office. That item was not on the agenda when committees of the court met last week.

Also on the agenda and expected to be approved Tuesday night is an appropriation ordinance for 210,000 for the construction of the new sheriff’s office. That money was received from the U.S. Department of Justice as proceeds from a joint investigation conducted by the sheriff’s department and federal authorities.

Other items on the agenda include:

• An appropriation ordinance for $105,000 for the County Road Department, with the funds coming from the State Highway Tax.

• An appropriation ordinance for $16,042 for the Sixth Division of Circuit Court (Juvenile Court) with the funds coming from a variety of sources.

• A $10,000 appropriation ordinance for the Jefferson County Election Commission for maintenance and operation with the funds being transfered from the commissions’s salary account for workers.

• An ordinance levying county taxes, municipal taxes and school taxes as required by law.