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Sheriff’s office budget includes new deputy

Web. Co. conservation, emergency spending also reviewed Tuesday

February 2, 2011
By BILL SHEA Messenger staff writer

An additional deputy will be added to the Webster County Sheriff's Department with the aid of a federal grant, and the necessary money is included in the agency's 2011-2012 proposed budget.

Adding that deputy will give the department 16 certified officers, including Sheriff Brian Mickelson.

Although the county supervisors once appeared hesitant to hire another deputy, there was no debate on the issue Tuesday afternoon when Mickelson presented his proposed budget to them.

The proposal calls for spending $1,990,411 in the fiscal year that begins July 1 and ends June 30, 2012.

In September 2010, the county received a $212, 314 Community Oriented Policing Services grant intended to pay a deputy's salary for three years. At the time, Supervisor Keith Dencklau raised the possibility that the money could be spent on something else.

Mickelson's proposed budget calls for buying two patrol cars at an estimated cost of $47,000, and a van for transporting prisoners. Supervisor Clark Fletcher suggested that the sheriff consider leasing a van instead of buying one.

The supervisors agreed to transfer $176,429 worth of sheriff's office costs from the general basic fund to the rural basic fund. That move shifts that cost from all the property taxpayers in the county to just those in the unincorporated areas.

''It should probably be coming out of there anyway,'' Dencklau said, noting that the deputies patrol the unincorporated areas.

Mickelson said the $176,429 would cover the salaries of two deputies plus the fuel for their patrol vehicles.

He reported that his department will get $35,000 to $50,000 in revenue from weapons permits this year, thanks to a surge in the number of people seeking such permits following a change in state law.

In an unrelated matter, Mickelson said he intends to ask the Board of Supervisors to name Lt. Kevin Kruse as his chief deputy.

Conservation budget

The sheriff's office budget proposal wasn't the only one the supervisors reviewed Tuesday as they continued to work on the 2011-2012 spending plan.

They received a $496,260 proposal from Matt Cosgrove, the director of Webster County Conservation.

The conservation budget includes $383,135 for salaries and daily operations. Its also includes $113,125 for employee benefits.

Cosgrove said the budget maintains most spending at current levels. He said his staff will be reduced by one person because a park ranger retired and will not be replaced. Webster County Conservation will have six full-time employees. one part-time employee and three seasonal employees, according to the proposal.

Emergency management

Tony Jorgensen, the county's emergency management coordinator, requested $35,000 for 2011-2012. That is unchanged from the agency's current budget.

''I think you can count on us to stay where we're at,'' Dencklau told Jorgensen.

The proposed budget being developed by Fort Dodge leaders includes an additional $10,000 for the emergency management agency.

Contact Bill Shea at (515) 573-2141 or



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