Dodge County Sheriff Says 2019 Budget Will Be ‘Lean’

(Juneau) Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt says his department’s budget will be lean heading into next year. Currently, the sheriff’s office is seeing a jump of $2.7-million dollars when compared to their 2018 budget. During Wednesday’s appearance on WBEV’s Community Comment, Schmidt says the closing of the old jail has had an impact on revenues due to the loss of contract beds from Immigration and Customs Enforcement and US Marshalls. He says early estimates suggested a decrease of $2-million dollars in revenues and added that the county board was given a much more conservative number of $1.2-million, but notes that the number is now more than originally thought. As budget deliberations progress, several county board members questioned why the sheriff’s office budget increased by so much. Citing more needed to be done to cut costs and that bringing employees from the old jail to the newer facility would address excess overtime hours. Schmidt says nine positions have been eliminated and any additional lost jobs would result in more overtime. A deputy patrol position was also eliminated as well as a member of the drug task force. Schmidt says when compared to other sheriff office’s from around the state, his budget is significantly lower. Comparisons by county board members have been made to Jefferson County but Schmidt notes that his department does more with less expenditures. Schmidt will present an overview of his 2019 budget to the Dodge County Finance Committee next Thursday. Final budget adoption is slated for November.