Sheriff gets more money

Published 10:11 am Friday, February 26, 2016

IT project source of budget boost

Planned IT upgrades at the courthouse have enabled the Lawrence County Sheriff to get a $200,000 boost to his budget.

For the past year the auditor’s office has saved slightly more than $400,000 to revamp the computer system at the courthouse to make an interconnection for the entire building.

At the same time, the sheriff needs $282,000 to cover payroll to the end of the year, sheriff Jeff Lawless told the Lawrence County Commissioners at their Thursday meeting.

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“In doing the calculation working with my payroll clerk and (auditor) Jason’s (Stephens) office,” Lawless said. “It is hard to calculate when the sheriff’s office’s needs are 24/7.”

That figure entails $157,000 for salaries and $125,000 for benefits.

“That should cover the status quo of personnel,” Stephens said.

To do that and still have the $391,000 needed for the upgrades, the commission agreed to give $200,000 from the IT fund along with the $91,516 additional revenue not certified yet by the budget commission.

The $391,000 figure is made up of $106,000 for software, $25,000 for the server, $194,000 for wiring with 20 percent for overages.

The commission will make up the difference for the upgrades by borrowing $200,000 from the Neighborhood Investment Program.

“The county debt situation is in a very good situation,” Stephens said. “We don’t have any major capital debt.”

Also close to $85,000 from the payment in lieu of taxes will be certified and placed in the general fund to cover contingencies.

Lawless also reported that Morrow and Butler counties where he houses inmates to reduce the local census are not able to take as many prisoners as before.

“They are struggling with jail space and will call us, ‘Come up and get your prisoners,’” he said.

He has negotiated a contract with Knox County for $50 a day.

With the impending retirement of Dr. Rodolfo Canos as jail physician, the commissioners will meet with representatives from Team Health about the prospect of contracting with its doctor to provide medical services. That meeting will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

There will be a public hearing at 9:30 a.m. March 17 on rehiring retired dog warden Bill Click.

In other action the commissioners:

• Approved the retirement of Cathy Caproni from the department of job and family services;

• Proclaimed March 2016 as Developmental Disability Awareness Month;

• Accepted the resignation of Anthony Clark as an EMS;

• Received public notice on the rehabilitation of Sherman Thompson Towers.