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County approves quarterly OCSO, jail budgets

January 5, 2012

The Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors approved more than $950,000 for second quarter budget allocations to the sheriff’s department, county jail and tax collector’s office Tuesday.

Each department’s budget is divided into four categories: personnel services, contractual services, consumable supplies and capital outlay. County Administrator Don Posey said capital funds are for buying departmental equipment and inventory while consumable supplies include small-ticket items. Personnel services, he said, covers payroll, insurance, retirement and workers compensation, and contractual services pay for a wide range of binding agreements.

When compiling the quarterly budget, Posey said he attempts to evenly distribute the money the board of supervisors has allotted the departments for the year.

“(The current budget) is a little less than last year’s budget,” he said. “We cut a lot of budgets last year to get in line and keep from raising taxes while providing the same level of services.”

Funding for the sheriff’s department, the highest funded of the three departments, totals $505,462.25. While $64,712.50 is reserved for contractual services, consumable supplies and capital outlay, $440,749.75 is budgeted for the department’s personnel services.

Due to his transition into office and the start of grand jury proceedings, Sheriff Steve Gladney said he hasn’t had a chance to review the quarterly budget. Gladney said he feels the department will be able to live within its parameters.

“We’re going to do everything we can to stay in the budget. We’re watching what we spend and cutting corners when we can,” Gladney said. “Everything is going well so far.”

As for jailing operations, $254,454.25 is reserved for personnel services while $81,231.25 is dedicated to contractual services, consumable supplies and capital outlay.

Oktibbeha County Jail Administrator Jimmy Vaughan said his department is prepared to live within the budget, but expenses in the consumable supplies and contractual services categories are never static. By law, the county covers prisoners’ medical expenses. These expenses are taken from the jail’s budget.

“A lot of those expenses depend on medical costs; they are really hard to gauge. If you get an inmate in with significant medical problems, then we have to take care of them,” Vaughan said. “We could have a good year and no one get sick, or we could have a really bad year with someone having a gallstone problem or heart attack that could really set us back.”

Vaughan said other hard-to-plan expenses include basic medicinal costs for prisoners and boarding costs for housing inmates outside the county when Oktibbeha’s jail reaches capacity.

“I’ll be able to stay within the budget with most items, but medicinal costs are always hard to say,” he said. “We did take about $10,000 out of custodial supplies — toilet paper and cleaning supplies. If we get further into the year, there might be areas I don’t have to hit hard and can slide money back into.”

The tax assessor’s budget, the smallest allocation of the three, will operate 35 percent lower than the jailing operation’s budget. The office’s personnel services category is budgeted $105,304 for the second quarter, while contractual services, consumable supplies and capital outlay will receive $10,475.

Like Gladney, Tax Assessor Allen Morgan said he also has not had a chance to view the budget.

“We’re going to be real conservative in operating and stay within the budget,” Morgan said.

Orlando Trainer, District 2 supervisor and board vice president, said the quarterly budgets will still allow each department to provide services without interruption.

“I’m an optimist; I’m the type of person who is confident things will get better each year,” he said. “Oktibbeha County has weathered a lot of storms and has a good base to sustain itself. It would be great to add on to our services, but we’re just not at that point.”

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