Balanced Budget

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Jefferson County commissioners have been busy putting the finishing touches to the upcoming budget, cutting more than $500,000 to balance it.

The bulk of the cuts came from the Sheriff's Office and the Road Department.

"The sheriff was asking for four additional corrections officers and two additional deputies. We were able to fund the two additional deputies for road service, but we did have to cut the four correctional officers,” says Jefferson County Chairman Skeet Joyner.

Sheriff David Hobbs says his office is understaffed and he had hoped to have the correctional officers in place to man the jails.

He says he understands the dilemma commissioners face on a yearly basis.

"I'm happy with the end result. I think we'll be able to perform at the level we should even though the four correctional officers were eliminated in my request. I still hopefully will be able to have two deputies and one dispatcher,” Hobbs explains.

While Hobbs is getting some of his requests approved, the Road Department's budget was cut by $160,000, most of it for the purchase of equipment.

With the budget cuts the county now has a surplus and has a contingency fund in place for emergencies.

One final note: this year all county employees will receive a three percent raise.