Budget and possible dispatch center discussed

Dawn Rye | Writer

During last week’s Turner County commissioners meeting, the sheriff’s office discussed their budget and dispatch center plans.

Sheriff Steven Luke said the budget increase was for the deputy based on the grant. He noted he would get reimbursed for his salary. 

Luke explained that he did not hire the deputy because he wanted to be sure all the rules and regulations were correct. He said he plans on hiring the new full-time deputy soon. 

Luke noted the jail budget increased based on the numbers last year and traffic coming into the county. He said with people going to jail more, jail costs per day is more. 

He said the state takes $5.00 for every bracelet placed around an ankle for the 24-7 program and the county receives $1.00. Luke explained the county gets the money for the drug patches.

Commissioner Tony Ciampa asked if those are paid in full before that person is released?

Luke said it’s suppose to be and if not, it is sent down the state’s attorney’s office.

Ciampa questioned if there are any outstanding balances?

State’s Attorney Katelynn Hoffman said any outstanding balances are attached to a judgment; however, she doesn’t believe there is any.

Ciampa asked Luke if he spoke with the cities about cameras?

Luke said Parker is already having cameras placed on top of the water tower.

He explained the 911 increase is dispatching cost. Luke said the agreement was signed with Lincoln County. 

Chairman Lyle VanHove asked if that was a one-year agreement?

Luke said it was a three-year agreement.

Ciampa questioned if the county can get out of the contract?

Luke noted Lincoln County has to receive a one-year notice.

VanHove asked if Luke was still looking at the possibility of starting a Turner County dispatch center?

Luke commented that it had been placed on the back burner for now. He said in the next couple of years he still wants to look into it. 

Ciampa questioned what would stop the county from doing it?

Commissioner Mark Kaufmann said he believes there should be other counties involved.

Luke noted he has already spoken with other counties to help offset the cost. 

Ciampa questioned if the county could drop contracts and approach other counties to help?

He asked why would the county want to wait three years.

Luke noted the county doesn’t have to wait. He said he wants to make sure everything is correct and to have more time. 

“I’m just afraid if we put this on the back burner and we go about this the wrong way someone else is going to say let’s do it,” commented Ciampa.

Luke said he doesn’t believe other counties are interested in doing it and the population it requires.

Ciampa asked how many counties have to be involved in making it work?

Luke noted bare bones Moody County is one of the smallest along with Bon Homme County. He said Bon Homme commissioners want to get rid of their dispatch center. Luke explained they are getting by with $200,000 and if he could get $200,000 based on what others are paying, it would offset their cost. 

Ciampa questioned when the county had it how it was run?

Luke noted it was state ran. 

He said he is speaking with Two-Way Radio to get some quotes and find out what equipment is needed. 

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