The cost of gas is dropping, but the decline wasn’t fast enough to salvage this year’s budgets for Barrow County’s emergency services departments. As a result, the Barrow County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday night to amend its budget to cover the additional costs. Sheriff Jud Smith told the BOC that his department last fall was budgeted $300,000 for fuel in FY2013, but he had to use $40,000 of that instead on maintaining his department’s aging fleet of vehicles. BCES chief Dennis Merrifield told a similar story Tuesday night. He said his department’s available funding for both fuel and fleet maintenance are exhausted. in a pair of 5-1 votes the BOC approved a total of $194,012 in budget amendments to cover the two department’s fuel and fleet maintenance costs for the next three months — $118,000 for the sheriff’s office and $76,012 for emergency services.
For the full story, see the June 27 issue of the Barrow Journal.