Sheriff asks for more than half-million dollars in budget increases

Melissa Crowe By Melissa Crowe

Aug. 7, 2013 at 3:07 a.m.

The Victoria County sheriff is asking for a 5 percent increase to his budget for the upcoming year.

Personnel requests totaling $403,798 top his wish list of more than a half-million dollars in increases in spending.

County Judge Don Pozzi said the court is considering adding some of the $629,148 items in Sheriff T. Michael O'Connor's wish list, but personnel has not been agreed upon.

O'Connor's maintenance budget is set to increase by $52,250 to now total $82,582.

The sheriff asked for a $10,000 increase to overtime, which would bring that fund to $60,000 for the new budget, but that has not been approved. He also asked for a $30,000 increase to auto repairs, bringing that fund to $155,000.

Pozzi included the increases to auto repairs in his proposed budget, as well as increases to K-9 expenses, jail supplies, uniforms, medical care and law enforcement supplies, totaling more than $79,000.

Commissioner Gary Burns questioned the increase for vehicle repairs, considering the amount of new cars the sheriff's office receives.

Deputies anticipate seven new cars, but commissioners have not finalized whether the $327,486 cost will come from the current budget or next year's.

The sheriff said he hoped the cost of auto repairs would have diminished with the new vehicles. "I guess it remains to be seen," he said.

With the drought bringing out more wild hogs and deer, more collisions and unplanned expenses occurred, O'Connor said.

Some of the vehicles deputies drive have already been driven more than 150,000 miles, he said.

"We've had a few body repairs here, but there's not much we can do about it," he said. "It just happens."



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