County Commissioners begin sorting budget issues | CraigDailyPress.com

County Commissioners begin sorting budget issues

Tyler Baskfield

— The fall is a hectic time for the county. Commissioners and county department heads have started looking at approving next year’s budget. The task will take until December to complete.

The Moffat County Board of Commissioners began sorting through the county budget Monday. The Moffat County Sheriff’s Department, The Moffat County Clerk and Recorder Office, Moffat County Extension Office, Moffat County Road and Bridge Department all went in front of the commissioners with preliminary budgets in hand.

The preliminary analysis seemed to go smoothly with only some miscellaneous questions being called by the commissioners.

The sheriff’s department is trying to budget in three new vehicles and will try to change department policy to allow deputies to take their vehicles. As it stands, the vehicles remain at the sheriff’s department at the end of the deputies’s shift. The sheriff’s department believes that allowing deputies to take department vehicles home will encourage deputies to live further out in the county away from Craig allowing for better law enforcement through out the county. Also, deputies will be able to respond to calls with their equipment if they happen to be off duty and in the area of the call. Since each deputy would have his or her own vehicle, gear would remain in the car instead of in lockers. The new policy would also save on maintenance costs. Having a number of people drive the same car is harder on a car mechanically than just having a single driver. Mileage on the vehicles wouldn’t accumulate as fast because the cars wouldn’t have to remain on the road during all shifts of the day. The lower mileage would allow for a better trade in value or have a vehicle in better condition be passed along to a different county department such as road and bridge. Since the department vehicles would be the deputies’ primary source of transportation to and from work, the department believes the vehicles would also have more consistent regular maintenance.

“What happens is if you get the vehicles, and you run them, run them and run and when your ready to trade them in they will have almost 100,000 miles on them,” said Moffat County Undersheriff Jerry Hoberg. “If you buy a new vehicle and give it to an officer, that vehicle has to last that officer four or five years versus two to three beause he’s the only one driving it. When you trade that in your going to have a four or five year old vehicle but your only going to have about 50,000 to 60,000 miles on it.”

The Moffat County Clerk and Recorder Office announced the release of new Colorado licences plates for all new cars, replacement plates and renewals beginning Jan. 1, 2000. The new plates are similar in design to the old Colorado plates with more detail being added to the mountains that make up the background of the plates and a different numbering system. They will have three numbers and three letters. While the new plates look nice, they might be costing the county more money. The postage charge for getting the new plates may rise. Beverly Johnson, Moffat County clerk, asked for an additional $4,000 for any possible increase in postage charges the issuing of the new plates will run up.

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“We’re not really sure how the state is going to handle sending them out,” said Johnson. “It’s possible the new plates will involve extra mailings. I wanted to be sure it was covered.”

The Moffat County Board of Commissioners will approve the final draft of the budget in December. Until then, county department budgets will be refined during Moffat County Board of Commissioners meetings.