County department heads continue budget talksPublished 2:32pm Monday, September 10, 2012
By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer
COLUMBIANA – The Shelby County Commission continued its preparations for the 2012-13 county budget during a work session Sept. 10.
The commission discussed proposed budgets with a number of county department heads during its previous work session Aug. 27.
The Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task Force is funded primarily by a grant from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs and the county commission.
Lt. Kevin Turner, commander of the Shelby County Drug Task Force, said the program received an ADECA grant for about $139,000 for the next fiscal year, which is less than the $220,000 grant received this year.
According to County Financial Manager Butch Burbage, the ADECA grant funds the salaries of the officers on the task force and cannot be used for other expenditures such as vehicles, equipment and office supplies.
The grant pays to reimburse the city police departments for the salaries of the Alabaster, Helena, Pelham and Harpersville deputies on the task force. The funding does not reimburse the salaries of any Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies on the task force. The task force has a total of 11 sworn officers, Turner said.
Even with the grant funding reduction, Turner said the task force will maintain its current staff and services through the next fiscal year.
Shelby County Community Services Manager Reggie Holloway said he has been able to reduce his department’s budget by $80,000 over the past four years.
The Community Services Department supports programs such as ClasTran, Middle Alabama Area Agency on Aging, senior programs and other services.
The county no longer has a contract with the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama, which provided a Spanish translator for the Community of Hope health care clinic in Pelham.
“We will not have that HICA contract for 2013, I’m sorry to say,” Holloway said. “Because of hard economic times, we have to reduce. We are going to be able to support the Community of Hope health care clinic with some help in getting a translator.”
The county commission intends to approve a completed budget at its next meeting, Sept. 24.