Additional funding that officials hope will complete the first phase of the new Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office was recommended for approval by two committees of the county quorum court when they met Tuesday.
With no dissent, both the Public Safety/Emergency Services and Finance Committees recommended that an additional $25,000 be transferred into the construction fund for the building.
Those funds were received from the Justice Department Equitable Sharing Program for State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies for work the department did assisting in investigations by the DEA and others.
Justice of the Peace Conley Byrd asked if the $25,000 would be enough to finish the first phase of the building, which will allow the department’s Criminal Investigation Division to move from its present location in the 100 block of Main Street to the new facility.
“That’s our understanding,” said Justice of the Peace Herman Ginger, chairman of both committees.
With the additional $25,000, the building fund budget for the year reached $1,742 million.
In the only other item on the agenda, a proposed appropriation ordinance for $99,000 for the Jefferson County Recycling program was recommended for approval. Those funds reflect money the recycling program has generated from a variety of programs, and no new money is involved, said Justice of the Peace Edward Spears, chairman of the Solid Waste/Recycling Committee.
According to the proposed ordinance, $20,000 was designated for miscellaneous expenses, a figure that Byrd questioned, asking for more clarification on what that entailed.
Daniel Marks, the legislative assistant to County Judge Dutch King and county grants administrator, said that because the recycling program has taken on a number of new projects, those funds might be needed for a variety of uses, including flexibility in paying contractors for services.
Stacy Wilkerson, who works at the county road department, said “we’re not sure if we’re going to new machinery or what” but said the funds would be “strictly for capital improvements.”
In a letter to Spears, King and other members of the Quorum Court, Marks, Wilkerson and County Recycling Director Matt Earnest said a bulk of the $99,000 will be spent for a new mini-excavator “as the current one is heavily used and requires frequent maintenance.”
The Recycling Department is working to convert a county-owned building behind Pope Furniture on East Harding Avenue into the new recycling center for E-waste and other products.
As the county prepares to begin the 2014 budget process, Ginger had some words of advice for county department heads and elected officials.
“The budgets for next year will not be suggestions,” he said. “You will live within your budgets.”
“King went even further, saying he had sent out a memo to all county offices and departments telling them to “spend only what you need to spend.”