DeSoto County supervisors met for their second budget meeting on Monday before ratifying the county’s budget for fiscal 2022 next month.
The new budget must be approved and implemented on September 15, before the start of the new fiscal year on October 1.
Supervisory board chairman Mark Gardner said on Monday that the board is scheduled for a public hearing at its regular September 7 meeting and that, without major changes being necessary, the budget could be voted on at that time. or shortly thereafter.
On Monday, supervisors took into consideration the sheriff’s department’s proposal for the upcoming fiscal year. Law enforcement and public safety typically take up the majority of what appears on the county’s budget spreadsheet each year.
Preliminary figures place the department operational with a budget of $ 26.797 million next year, $ 886,287 more than the adopted budget for the current year of $ 25.91 million.
About $ 500,000 more goes to the Sheriff’s Department Patrol / Law Enforcement Station. Another $ 226,593 is budgeted for county jail operations.
Gardner said the sheriff’s department continues to grow each year, but for good reason.
“This supervisory board strongly believes in public safety,” Gardner said. âThe sheriff’s budget, our emergency management agency and EMT budget, our fire budget, everything under public safety has increased as long as I am on the board and I will continue to do so. to do.”
During the budget discussion on Monday morning, Gardner estimated that the sheriff’s department was operating on a budget of $ 13 million when it was first elected to the board of directors in 2011.
âIt’s a terrible time to be a law enforcement officer in the nation,â Gardner said. âNot so much in DeSoto County, but in other parts of the country there is such a lack of respect for law enforcement. We respect our law enforcement agencies and we hold them in the highest regard. “