FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - The Allen County Council granted all but one department more funds for their 2014 budgets after a hearing on Thursday.
A total of $731,957 was approved from the original total of around $1.2 million.
"I think it went well. In reality, we did our job and analyzed the expenses the department heads wanted. Not everybody got what they wanted and we put some stipulations on things that people did want in order to make sure we got what we want," Darren Vogt, District 3 councilman, said.
The council approved a total of $531,957 in county funds to go into the appealing departments' budgets. An additional $200,000 in the county's capital fund was earmarked to go toward vehicles for the sheriff's department.
The county’s general fund for 2014 is $91 million, which includes $1 million from this year that will roll over.
Vogt explained there is $2 million in the council capital line and the appeals approved would move that money from there to that department’s budget. After the approvals, there is around $1.27 million left in the capital fund.
The Allen County Sheriff's Department received $269,750, which is $200,000 less than what Sheriff Ken Fries asked for.
"It falls short of my expectations," he said. "We shouldn't battle every year for cars. They wear out."
Fries lowered his appeal from an initial amount of $793,443. The revised amount of $469,750 would cover a new position in the department and buying new vehicles. The difference would have been used for more armed security at the juvenile center and overtime expenses.
Of his revised appeal, $400,000 was allotted to buy 16 new cars for the department. There are currently 47 vehicles in the fleet with more than 100,000 miles.
The council wants Fries to use money the department gets from the jail's commissary to buy half of 16 vehicles.
The Allen County Superior Court was also granted more funds, but their full appeal amount. The surveyor, planning services and juvenile center got their full appeals. The council did not give the county extension office its request.
See the list below for what each department requested and what the county council's decision was after deliberations:
Appealed for: $469,750, down from a planned $783,443 request.
Passed 4-2 (Bob Armstrong, At-Large and Roy Buskirk, At-Large voted no)
Sheriff Ken Fries was the first to take the floor and appeal for more money on Thursday. He said $400,000 would allow the Sheriff's Department to buy 16 new squad cars.
Armstrong and Buskirk proposed giving Fries $100,000 toward new cars, but that motion died 2-4.
Appealed for: $29,070
Passed 4-2 (Darren Vogt, District 3 and Tom Harris, District 2 voted no)
The money will help fund educational programs as required through the federal Clean Water Act. The city of Fort Wayne had helped pay for some of the programs, but when the city pulled out of the partnership it left a budget shortfall, Buskirk explained.
Asked for: $2,470.
The money would help pay for five additional extension office educators in Allen County. Councilman Kevin Howell advocated for this increase during Thursday's meeting to allow inner city kids to have access to farming. Councilman Tom Harris questioned whether or not the Allen County Extension could raise the funds instead.
After deliberations, there was no support for the appeal. There was no motion and therefore no vote.
Appealed for: $6,521.
The appeal money will pay for part of the salary of a position in the department. A department representative said they hired above the salary line of what the job had been allotted. The city will reimburse 40 percent so the net cost to the county would be $3,913.
Appealed for: $228,080.
Approved 7-0 (Kevin Howell was now present)
The Allen County Juvenile Center plans to use $149,764 of this to balance its budget. The remaining $78,316 would go toward hiring, training and salaries for two more security officers to help out with the center's security issues. Center representatives also went over several ways revenue will be increasing with higher fees and how they are cutting costs in food service and cleaning to show the council their efforts to run a tight budget.
Appealed for: $298,536.
Allen County Superior Court representatives said part of this money would go to meet the increased need for interpreters and psychological evaluations as well as court-appointed attorneys.
Council acknowledged the court’s efforts to make budget cuts, but lowered the initial amount to help ease the burden of increased costs and encouraged the court to also find other ways to lower costs. The door is open, however, for the court to come back and ask for the remaining $100,000 in August.
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