Wanda English Burnett
the long hours of budget hearings came to an end with the Ripley
County Council finalizing the adoption of the 2011 budget with
a vote of four to two, with William Warren and Juanita Kaiser
voting against the budget as submitted. The total county budget
presented was $14,495,787.00. This meeting was held October
20, after recessing from Mondays regular meeting on October
On Monday, October 18 council members finalized the sheriffs
budget. The sheriff had requested two additional deputies be
added to his staff. That request was shot down with a final
four to two vote with Ed Armbrecht, Dave Simon, Donald Dunbar,
and Dephane Smith voting against the request and William Warren
and Juanita Kaiser voting for it.
Council members discussed the situation with Kaiser making a
motion to accept two additional deputy positions. Warren seconded
the motion, but it was voted down. Warren made a motion for
one additional deputy to be hired, with Kaiser giving the second
nod. That too was voted down in the end.
Armbrecht motioned to keep overtime at $50,000 for the sheriffs
department and not hire additional deputies. The final vote
was four yes, with William Warren and Juanita Kaiser voting
against. Bill Dramann abstained from action taken concerning
the sheriffs department.
Armbrecht reported that he had talked with judges from the superior
and circuit courts, E911, and EMS, who all told him they did
not have problems with services from the sheriffs department
with the present staff.
At the September meeting, a lady appeared before the council
saying that her home had been broken into and the sheriffs
department had not interviewed her neighbors ten days later.
She said the sheriff told her he didnt have enough help
to go around. Council member Ed Armbrecht said he would check
into the situation. At the October meeting he reported that
at the time of the break-in, the sheriff had $18,000 in overtime
funds available. Why didnt somebody go in ten days?
Although Sheriff Tom Grills was in attendance at the meeting,
he did not publicly comment or answer the question from Armbrecht.
It was decided to hold off on approving the sheriffs salary
until after November 2.
In other business:
An appropriation of $1,904 was approved for insurance
for the Ripley County Health Department.
Transfers were unanimously approved with the health department
taking $4887.04 from the medical professional liability fund
to the insurance fund. This was to amend the insurance fund
due to increases. The veterans service office transferred $200
from telephone to office supplies to purchase veterans
Other transfers included $40,000 from the highway departments
new equipment fund to the equipment repairs fund to pay for
repairs to the Gradal; $10,000 from the service contracts fund
to the tires and tubes fund to cover a forthcoming deficit in
the tire account.
Approval was given for commissioners to take $10,000
out of the change of venue account to be place in the unemployment
fund. This will pay the remainder of unemployment claims for
the rest of the year. Armbrecht explained that it wasnt
necessarily for county workers that had been laid off from their
jobs now, but ones that had left the county to work somewhere
else, and had then been laid off.
Clerk Mary Ann McCoy was given approval to take $324.62
from the office supplies fund to the clerical perpetuation fund
and $220.00 from the copy machine maintenance agreement fund
for the same purpose. This is for scanning and filing in her
The next regular meeting of the Ripley County Council will be
held November 15 at 7 p.m. at the courthouse annex in Versailles.