Sheriff Darr: $2 million budget gap still exists

Sheriff Darr: $2 million budget gap still exists

(WTVM) - Potential budget woes for the upcoming year in the Muscogee County Sheriff's office are still being hammered out.

Sheriff John Darr and the Finance Director are trying to see if they can close a $2 million gap between Darr's proposal and the mayor's recommendation.

The Mayor wants to allocate $24.8 million for the Sheriff's office, but Darr said he needs $27 million.

"They came in, and took $150,000 in pharmaceuticals, and put in the Muscogee County Prison's budget," stated Darr.

That line item, Darr says, isn't a savings; it's moving the expense to another department.

But finance director Pam Hodge said there are other adjustments.

"There was some overtime budged in the lost fund that was reduced. There were also some vacant positions that were left unfunded, explained Hodge."

Hodge says those positions were included in a public safety vacancy reserve that did not need to be in Darr's budget.

Hodge says it's those types of adjustments including differences in inmate medical services and bailiffs pay that bring the gap to $1,019,000.

Darr added, "I didn't come away from that meeting at all with the impression that we had anywhere near a million dollars savings--I'm saying I had no idea where that number came from. It wasn't presented in any stretch of the meeting I was present at.

Hodge says they will revisit the line items while Darr says he's hoping city council will approve his budget.

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