County sheriff decreases his office’s budget by $99,950
Henry County Sheriff Allen Wittmer presented his budget requests for the upcoming year at the board of supervisors meeting on Dec. 14, saying that his office has decreased its budget by $99,950 from last year. This figure does not include wage-related expenses, which the office has no control over. All but two of the sheriff’s office employees are unionized, so their wages are based on union negotiations.
Most of the items included in the budget concern routine maintenance and operation costs.
“I have no great big project,” said Wittmer, noting that if anything could be considered a big project it would be the jail. The sheriff’s office is requesting $5,000 for part-time jailers. The county currently employs eight full-time jailers, but if these employees have the day off, there is nobody to pull from to cover their shifts.
Another issue at the jail concerns the plumbing valves. Wittmer said he was informed that there are no longer replacement parts available for the valves, which are present in the sinks, toilets and showers. If something were to break, the entire valve would have to be replaced. Wittmer replied that in such a situation, he would replace all of the valves at once, rather than on an as-needed basis.
There was also some concern raised over the replacement of squad cars.
“I don’t see any cars coming up to be replaced,” said Wittmer, as all of the cars have around 60,000-70,000 miles and are not typically replaced until they reach 130,000 miles. While this will help keep the budget down in the upcoming year, there was some concern raised over potential high costs in the future.
For more on this story, see the December 15 issue of the Mt. Pleasant News.