During the most recent meeting of the Cherokee County Commission, the commission passed the budget for the new fiscal year.
Following that meeting we spoke with Commissioner Marcie Foster about some of the items that were on the minds of many people, one of which was a cost-of-living raise for county employees – including law enforcement.
Previously local law enforcement had been forced to deal with the problem of new recruits being trained here, then leaving for higher paying jobs in other counties – hopefully, that new raise will allow for increased stability among officers here in Cherokee County.
Of course, a major issue of concern for everyone is the jail budget and that was perhaps the issue that the commission and county administrator spent the most time on – in preparation for the new budget; overcrowding in the detention system, is a problem county governments are being forced to deal with nationwide, as more money is required for the replacement of essential items and for safety features.
In addition to those capital improvement funds, the new budget once again, shifts some $432,000 from the Highway Department to the jail, which helps to fund day-to-day operations – including feeding and care of the inmates, employee salaries and so on.
The shifting of those funds was made possible in large part due to the fact that a great deal of the county’s paving costs have fortunately been off-set by ATRIP money with the county only being required to pay the match – usually of 20% percent – for each project.
Even with the shift in funds – the new budget will still contain sufficient money for the Highway Department to purchase some new equipment.
All-in-all Cherokee County remains in better shape in regard to the jail system than many areas – however it’s a subject that will be on the minds of the commission members throughout the year.
Commissioner Foster also pointed out that although the budget had to be passed by the beginning of the fiscal year, it could be amended at any time in the future if so needed.
The next meeting of the Cherokee County Commission is scheduled for Monday October 14th at 9:00am in the County Administration Building.