Six departments want to spend about $1.28 million more next year than Allen County Council allocated in its preliminary 2014 budget, with the Sheriff's Department accounting for most of the request.
“I hope they at least give us the cars. We have about 47 vehicles with more than 100,000 miles,” Chief Deputy Dave Gladieux said. Of the department's $793,443 appeal, about half would pay for 16 new cars. The department did not receive funds for cars in this year's budget, he added.
According to County Auditor Tera Klutz, council has approved spending of about $91 million in 2014 from taxes, fees and the rollover of $1 million anticipated to be unspent in this year's budget. If council granted all the appeals, however, expenses would exceed income by $959,652, perhaps requiring council to tap the county's rainy day fund.
Council President Darren Vogt said that's a smaller gap than in some recent years, in part because the city's recent decision to increase local income taxes will generate about $3.9 million for the county in 2014.
In addition to the sheriff's appeal of $793,443, others include Allen Superior Court, which is seeking $298,536 to be used for attorneys for the indigent, representatives for infants and children and other purposes; $149,764 for the Juvenile Center; $29,070 for the surveyor's office; $6,521 for planning services; and $2,470 for the extension office.
Gladieux said the sheriff's appeal would also pay for a new financial/efficiency officer, security at the juvenile center and other things.
Council's proposed 2014 budget contains $2 million set aside for equipment, however, and Klutz said cars could be funded through that account if the sheriff's appeal is denied.
County Council establishes preliminary budgets for each department, then allows department heads to appeal that amount before approving a final spending plan.
Council will consider the appeals Sept. 19.