Making sure money is available to pay Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department employees was the goal of a couple budget items approved by the county council this month. To help balance the county’s General Fund budget, council members had previously moved several staff members’ salaries into other parts of the budget. But that’s led to some new issues.
During this month’s council meeting, Sheriff Jeff Richwine explained that Assistant Jail Commander Phyllis Foust’s pay was moved into the Work Release Fund, but now, that fund is running out of money. “This money comes from, we’ll sign inmates out, they’ll get a job, they have to pay a fee to us. Sometimes, we’re transporting them. It’s just we charge them a fee, and this account raises money,” Richwine told council members. “What happened, then, is we put her back in there, and there’s not enough to sustain her in there.”
To solve the problem, council members agreed to transfer nearly $87,000 from various line items in the Sheriff’s Department’s budget. Richwine said that will cover Foust’s pay and benefits for the rest of the year.
Similarly, council members had decided to move four dispatchers’ salaries from the General Fund to the CAGIT Fund. But somehow, the change never made it into the final budget, according to Council President Jay Sullivan. To correct the oversight, the council has to approve that funding as an additional appropriation, totaling over $460,000. Council members agreed to advertise the appropriation request for consideration next month, along with $118,000 from the Cumulative Building Fund for the Pulaski Memorial Hospital project.