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Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Stories Added - June 2008
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Gas prices taking toll on county budget
Polk County Enterprise - June 2008

LIVINGSTON — Commissioner’s Court approved a budget amendment augmenting the Polk County Sheriff’s Offi ce fuel budget by up to $66,000 for the fi scal year during a meeting Tuesday. Sheriff Kenneth Hammack told Commissioners Buddy Purvis and Tommy Overstreet about the dramatic impact that fuel cost increases have had on his department. Commissioners Bob Willis and Ronnie Vincent were absent due to illness. Hammack sent a letter to all commissioners prior to the meeting detailing PCSO’s fuel expenses. “During the four-month period from January through April, PCSO purchased fuel in bulk for $2.86 a gallon for a total cost of $67,816,” Hammack said. The last fuel delivery made to the department’s pump located at the jail cost $3.71, Hammack said.

“If [the price] stays the same, it will cost $87,700 to operate PCSO vehicles for the rest of the year,” Hammack said. “We have $38,900 left in the budget,” Hammack said. “[County Auditor] Ray Stelly pulled the numbers for the amount of fuel that we used for the last several months and we need $66,000 to fi nish the year.” “I think that qualifi es for a budget amendment,” County Judge John Thompson said. Thompson added other departments will be considered one by one to fi nd solutions to meet the fuel cost increase. Overstreet added that he had transferred funds from other line items within his Precinct 4 budget to meet the cost increase. “For the fi rst four months, fuel costs totaled $11,000,” Overstreet said. “It was $16,000 for the month of May.”

Judge Thompson and Sheriff Hammack will evaluate line items to target funds that can be transferred from PCSO line items that will not be spent by September, the end of the current fi scal year. One item that will not need to be paid before Oct. 1 is the $18,000 allocated in this year’s sheriff’s department budget to cover the animal shelter facilities, Hammack said. The animal shelter project is on hold due to the jail expansion, which is now in the fi nal design phase. Local animal advocacy groups are working with the sheriff’s department to fi nd a new site for impounded animals. The county will fund the increased fuel costs out of the unspent fund balance in the general revenue accounts, county offi cials said at the meeting.

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