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Clay backs cost-cutting measures

Sheriff Department to up security, processing fees...

Sheriff Department to up security, processing fees
The Clay County Commission voted Tuesday to adopt more than $800,000 worth of cuts and revenue enhancements suggested by county department heads.

Commissioners also authorized administrators to gauge employee willingness to voluntarily take days off without pay to help the county deal with an anticipated budget shortfall of about $1 million.

So far, layoffs are not in the picture.

The dozens of suggestions embraced by the board include cutting back on travel and training, as well as delaying filling some positions.

Under revenue enhancements, the Sheriff's Department will boost its civil processing fees.


The department also will charge more for providing security for certain events, such as parades and dances.

One idea not included in the list approved Tuesday was a suggestion the Sheriff's Department stop impounding stray dogs and cats for a savings of $12,000.

Commission Chairman Jerry Waller, who has criticized the speed with which the county was approaching budget cuts, applauded the efforts of department heads.

"I was not expecting a number of that magnitude," said Waller, referring to the approximately $807,000 in savings and revenue enhancements.

"I'm very pleased with this list," agreed fellow Commissioner Jon Evert.

Holiday without payrecover the cost of prosecuting cases.

Administrators will now approach employees to find out how many would be willing to take days off without pay to help close the remaining budget gap.

Based on a proposal pushed for by Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Clay County could lose more than $1 million in state aid.


In addition to the suggestions adopted Tuesday, county officials will review additional cost-cutting ideas submitted by county employees.

They include:

• Reducing the county's mileage reimbursement from 55 cents a mile to 28 cents a mile for those who use personal cars for county business.

• Reducing the amount budgeted for employee recognition activities from $5,000 to $1,000.

• Boosting fees for things like day care licensing and foster care.

Also, the county attorney's office has proposed the county do more to

County Administrator Vijay Sethi told commissioners when it comes to cutting the budget, "this is getting to be as bare bones as it gets."

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555

Related Topics: CLAY COUNTY
I'm a reporter and a photographer and sometimes I create videos to go with my stories.

I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead and in my time with The Forum I have covered a number of beats, from cops and courts to business and education.

I've also written about UFOs, ghosts, dinosaur bones and the planet Pluto.

You may reach me by phone at 701-241-5555, or by email at dolson@forumcomm.com
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