Shelby County Commission Chair Jon Parker presents a representative of SafeShelby with a proclamation from the commission.
The Shelby County Commission has approved the release of $342,692.54 to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.
During its March 13 meeting, the commission approved a resolution to release the funds for the purchase of new sheriff’s office vehicles and related accessories. Previously, the funds were put on hold due to a budget amendment, which allowed the county to hold funds pending a review of the sheriff’s office’s budget practices.
This amendment was proposed by Commissioner Lindsey Allison, chair of the commission’s finance committee, due to a “substantial overage by the sheriff’s department” in fiscal year 2016. Sheriff John Samaniego went roughly $600,000 over budget in FY 2016, marking the second year the sheriff’s office was over budget.
The commission’s Finance Committee met March 7 to discuss the first four months of the fiscal year, as well as if releasing the funds was a good idea. County Manager Alex Dudchock said he recommended the action because the sheriff had remained in budget for the first four months and there were funds that had not been included in the original budget, which could balance against excess costs. One example, Dudchock said, is revenues from federal inmates.
When presenting the resolution to the full commission, Allison said she recommended approval. The finance committee felt there were enough checks and balances in place, she said, to safely recommend the funds be released.
All commissioners in attendance voted to approve the resolution. The roughly $342,000 will be used to purchase new Tahoes for the sheriff’s office.
The commission also approved a resolution authorizing the execution of Local Area Workforce Board creation documents and agreements. The county plans to collaborate with entities associated with workforce development and readiness, and will be in the Central Workforce Board, along with representatives from St. Clair, Chilton, Blunt, Walker and Jefferson County.
“Our county was one of I think 61 that were all grouped together for many years, as far as federal money coming down and how they were doing initiatives with higher education, secondary education and all different levels,” Dudchock said. “Now, we have a defined region, where ownership can hopefully be greater for our desired needs.”
At this time, the initiative is 100 percent funded by the state, Dudchock said, but that might change in the future.
“So Alex, the way I read this … It’s the governor’s initiative in the first two years. They kind of have to dictate what happens, and we just are at the table and figure out what that would be,” Allison said.
Dudchock confirmed Allison’s read of the resolution. The commission passed the resolution.
Also at the meeting:
- The commission approved bids for inmate footwear and linens for the sheriff’s office and jail.
- The commission approved appointments for the Shelby County Planning Commission. Planning commissioners Jim Davis and Ken Wilder were reappointed for an additional term, and Samuetta Nesbitt was appointed to her first term. Nesbitt will fill the completed term of Rachel Garrett, who has served on the planning commission for 12 years. Davis, Wilder and Nesbitt’s terms will expire on April 1, 2023.