Archived Story

Commission to consider separate budget for county jail

Published 3:17pm Monday, March 12, 2012


COLUMBIANA – At a March 12 meeting, the Shelby County Commission addressed the possibility of making the Shelby County Jail, Juvenile Detention Center and the county’s IT Communication Services and Maintenance Department three separate cost centers, giving each its own separate budget.

If the proposal for a sole lump sum for the sheriff’s office passes, the county would no longer track salary information, cut payroll checks or provide human resource support for the three operations. The county would relinquish all budget responsibility to the sheriff and provide a lump sum budget to use as the sheriff’s office sees fit.

“We won’t be the only county that gives a lump sum, but we may be the only county who gives them all administrative responsibilities,” said Burbage.

Commissioner Lindsey Allison asked for a report from the county attorneys concerning the county’s liabilities and responsibilities if the budget changes happen.

“This is a huge responsibility (for the sheriff’s office),” Allison said.

Burbage said the county has the budget numbers for the three cost centers in their system and ready to be put into effect.

“A resolution will be put in to adopt the budgets on March 26, 14 days from now, and they would be effective April 1,” said Burbage.

The commission also reviewed and discussed the county’s year-to-date financial budget.

The county has used 0.5 percent of the total $30 million budget for the year so far, said Finance Manager Butch Burbage.

“With the economic times we’re in, we have to keep a very close eye on the budget,” said Commission Chairman Corley Ellis. “We are where we thought we would be. We hope the economic downturn is starting to let up. I’m happy with today’s report.”

The commission also unanimously agreed to consider a proposed change to the alcohol and beverage license process. Instead of having two readings in two different county commission sessions, Commissioner Rick Shepherd proposed the process become a one-step process.

“It will save the staff a lot of valuable time. I support (Shepherd’s) recommendation.” said Ray Hamilton, Department of Development Services manager.

County Manager Alex Dudchock said the change is “wonderful” and would give the board members the responsibility of getting “comfortable” with the decision to approve or deny an alcohol and beverage license for particular businesses in their districts.

  • countrygirl

    Now I just wonder how many people he does put in work release? Especially if the county and work release gets any kick back from the % that they take from the workers pay. Like I said I know you can not live no where free.
    They have to have their OWN food, and if not mistaken none of the money they take is put to their fines.

  • jmom03

    is there any relationship between Ms. Debbie Hunt, at work release, and Judge Reeves?


  • countrygirl

    does this mean that 3 new departments would have to be hired for this process? would like to know how many people are in this “central” department now? and how many would have to be hired if this is split up or would the ones in the “central” department be split up as each “new” department is formed.

    also have another question
    the land that the jail sits on it that the county’s or do they lease that land and if they do who from? and is there any relationship between Ms. Debbie Hunt, at work release, and Judge Reeves? And if there is any kind of relationship that means more people that Reeves puts in there the more money they make since they do get a big % of the work release’s paycheck. Work release people have to pay for their own food there and the money that is collected what is percentage of the break down and where does it go too. And do not get me wrong I know you can not live anywhere free! was just being curious!!

  • southtowngirl

    I can see where they might be trying to get the Sheriff’s monkey off their back in light of the ongoing litigation over budget/salary increases, but why separate the other departments? What is the financial gain / logic behind this decision?

    More info please.

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