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  • Charlene Sims, Journal staff

Sheriff's budget increase of 2.1% gets tentative approval

Updated: Jul 4, 2022

MOUND CITY – The Linn County Commissioner on Monday, June 13, tentatively approved a 2.1 percent budget increase for the Linn County Sheriff’s Office for 2023.

Sheriff Kevin Friend presented his budget, nearly $3.38 million, explaining that the 2.1 percent increase was mainly for fuel costs. He said that when he set up this budget 25 or so days ago, he budgeted for 85,000 gallons of fuel at $4.99 per gallon. He said he realizes now that this will most likely go higher.

Friend pointed out that the 2022 budget had 85,000 gallons of fuel and costs will go over that this year. The amount in the 2023 budget for fuel at $4.99 gallon is $149,700.

Commissioner Rick James asked if there was any way to work on this.

Friend said that the deputies were not on a restricted patrol now and he hated to do the with calls being up. Friend says that he is getting the fuel consumption numbers from the county clerk and handing them out to the deputies so they can conserve gas.

James said that he often sees law enforcement cars also in other counties, where the cars are left running while a deputy runs into a store.

Friend said that he had talked with the deputies about that. The only car that runs full-time during a shift is the K-9 vehicle to keep the dog cool or warm. The others are shutting their cars down when they can.

The other line item that increased was inmate transportation costs – inbound to Linn County facilities from other county, state and federal facilities. He changed it from $5,000 to $25,000. He pointed out that while the sheriff’s office would not be transporting prisoners from Linn County, they will be picking up and taking back prisoners from other counties and other jurisdictions.

He said this would be accounted for in the per diem rate that is charged to the other facilities. He also said that when inmates were released they would be taken back to the jurisdiction they came from.

According to Friend, the United States Marshals service is nearing completion on the contract with Linn County for per diem rates. Friend said that the per diem costs will be different for local counties who have helped Linn County in the past compared to the state and federal rates.

Discussion was held about how the utilities and paper goods in the Justice Center will be paid for. At present, each department – sheriff, district court and county attorney’s office – have a line item in their budget for these items.

Friend also pointed out that he had reduced the current line item for sending Linn County prisoners to other facilities from $100,000 to $55,000. He told the commissioners that periodically Linn County would have to send “conflict” prisoners out to other facilities. This would be because family members may work for the county or the county itself might be a victim of a crime.

James asked if there were enough corrections officers for the jail when inmates started coming. Friend said they were still one short but the others have all been hired and trained.

James asked what about supplies for the inmates like mattresses and uniforms. Friend said that came out of the bond money.

Commissioner Danny McCullough asked about the line item for School Resource Officers (SRO) staying the same. He thought that the schools were paying for part of the cost. County Clerk David Lamb said that would be taken care of by him as income for the sheriff’s office.

At the May 2 commission meeting, James had said the sheriff could put the money in his budget for SRO officers but it would be pulled out. Since then, school districts have agreed to pay $12,000 per year for their SROs.

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