FARMINGTON — Franklin County commissioners voted unanimously Wednesday to approve a $1.52 million Sheriff's Office budget and a $792,479 communications budget.
The votes came as the commissioners reviewed the proposed $5.5 million spending plan for 2013-14.
The Budget Advisory Committee will begin its review of the budget at 1 p.m. April 29 in the commissioners' office. Some members were in attendance Tuesday and Wednesday as commissioners went over the proposed budget.
Sheriff Scott Nichols Sr. and Chief Deputy Steve Lowell went over the proposal for both departments under their oversight.
The Sheriff's Office budget is $44,838 more than the current budget. Some of that is due to higher fuel costs, maintenance on new police reporting software, and separating utilities between the Sheriff's Office building and the new dispatch building.
Telephone costs were formerly in the communications budget. Since there will be two buildings, Nichols said he estimates $15,000 for phone service.
The budget also factors in a 2 percent raise for all employees in each department, county Clerk Julie Magoon said. That does not mean that employees will get that amount of raise, because it will be up to commissioners to determine.
Nichols said he put in $90,000 for three new vehicles. The county will be going with Ford Explorer Interceptors for all deputies so tires and other equipment will be interchangeable. The county has a rotation system to buy new vehicles. Last year the Sheriff's Office bought four SUV Interceptors.
Nichols said he reduced overtime and money for part time deputies. Those accounts are being proposed at $95,000, a decrease of $7,000 for overtime and $10,000, a decrease of $6,000, for part-time deputies.
In the communications budget, Nichols said he factored in $20,000 for communications director for half a year. Dispatchers will not be able to move into their new building until December or January when the new generation of 911 equipment is installed.
The communications director position is new. Commissioners would like to have a director oversee the operations and report to them.
The communications budget is up $102,346 from the current budget, partly because of a stand-alone dispatch center and utility costs. Currently, the center is within the Sheriff's Office building.
In addition to a director, the budget covers 11 dispatchers, including two supervisors and a utility dispatch position.