Archived Story

Sheriff gets funds to cover expenses until Dec. 31

Published 9:53am Friday, November 16, 2012

New contract could increase Lawless’ budget next year

 

A last-minute appropriation of more than $162,000 to the sheriff’s office will pay the bills through the end of the year.

But with a new three-year FOP contract just ratified, meeting next year’s expenses remains the challenge for Sheriff Jeff Lawless.

At its Thursday meeting, Lawrence County Commissioners appropriated $162,475 from the one-half percent sales tax to the sheriff’s budget, leaving about $1,000 left in that fund that goes to the sheriff, EMS and Emergency Management Agency.

“From the numbers I see, we will make it through to the end of the year without making any more layoffs,” Lawless said

Recently Lawless laid off two part-time employees following the resignation this summer of two additional workers.

“I will not be able to replace those two employees who resigned,” he said. “I’ve been filling in with overtime. I would like to get those two positions replaced.”

But if the county commissioners maintain the same $3,302,254 budget Lawless had this year in 2013, funding an almost 2 percent raise for FOP union employees could mean more layoffs.

“If they give me the same budget, I will be forced to make major cuts,” he said. “The cost of everything is going up, food, medicine, gas.”

Commissioners also on Thursday approved the latest FOP contract with the sheriff’’s office that will give union employees a 25-cent per hour raise for 2013 and 2014 and a 30-cent per hour raise in 2015. Originally the 2013 25-cent raise was to be retroactive to January 2012. However the union agreed to take a $500 bonus for 2012 instead of the raise.

“That is saving a ton of money,” Lawless said.

Raises for the first two years will give the 34 employees under that contract an individual increase of $520 each year, costing the sheriff’s office a total of $622 per employee each year after retirement and other benefits are added in.

The 30-cent per year raise will give employees a $624 raise each year costing the sheriff’s office $745 per employee.

Last week Lawless had called the financial situation at his office desperate, even saying it was possible any more layoffs could force the closure of the Lawrence County Jail.

“We have averted that for several months,” the sheriff said this morning. “I say ‘Thank God.’ I can take a deep breath and relax through the end of the year. All parties worked hard to resolved this.”

The Tribune believes it is possible for people with a variety of points of view to discuss issues in a civil manner and will remove comments that, in our opinion, foster incivility. We want to encourage an open exchange of information and ideas. Responsibility for what is posted or contributed to this site is the sole responsibility of each user. By contributing to this website, you agree not to post any defamatory, abusive, harassing, obscene, sexual, threatening or illegal material, or any other material that infringes on the ability of others to enjoy this site, or that infringes on the rights of others. Any user who feels that a contribution to this website is a violation of these terms of use is encouraged to email report-comments@irontontribune.com, or click the "report comment" link that is on all comments. We reserve the right to remove messages that violate these terms of use and we will make every effort to do so — within a reasonable time frame — if we determine that removal is necessary.

  • Geronimo

    You lock them up you got ot take care of them that means healthcare,food and shelter at least. People are roaming the streets that shoud be locked up and peaole are locked up for the petty crimes like smoking pot.Our prisons will eventually all be privitized , now won’t that be a big savings on state and local governments?

    (Report comment)

  • chs71

    Feed the people in the jail, peanut butter sandwiches, dried beans.
    The folks in the great depression ate beans, if they had anything at all. Why should these people have to have certain food?
    Give them water to drink, the budget could be cut in food.
    Such a shame that the government feels we need to baby these people. If they were upstanding citizens, they wouldn’t be in jail in the first place.

    (Report comment)

Editor's Picks

Bicentennial committee seeks nonprofit status

As soon as the county’s bicentennial committee gets an OK on becoming a non-profit organization, it will gear up its fundraising campaign to recreate the ... Read more

Fighting for Dawson: LOCO helps boy with SVT, heart defects

At a glance, Dawson Mahaney looks and acts like any 9-month-old child would, his bright blue eyes constantly taking in the world around him. On ... Read more

Finding the money: Boggs wants ideas on how to pay for new jail

Coming up with a specified way to fund building a county jail is the next step in the process, according to jail committee chair Les ... Read more