GARFIELD COUNTY - Sheriff Lou Vallario has returned nearly $3 million ($2.89 million) of his 2010 total budget to the County general fund.
The total 2010 Sheriff’s Office budget was $18.86 million of which the Sheriff only spent $15.97 million in total expenditures. Those expenditures represent a 3.4% increase over total expenditures in 2009. As you may recall, the Sheriff also returned over $2 million in 2009.
With regard to the Sheriff’s Office 2011 budget, the Operations budget decreased from 2010 by nearly 7%, but the overall budget increased slightly by 1.7% due to additional dollars infused by the County for possible salary and benefit adjustments, particularly significant forecasted increases in health care.
As the Sheriff has stated, his budget is based on known fixed costs; forecasting variable costs based on previous trends; estimating unknown but “anticipated” costs such as a major case investigation or wild land fire; and finally, completely unanticipated costs such as the $78,000 ($77,991) in additional medical care for one inmate (Amonette).
Sheriff Lou Vallario says, “We base our budget on what is needed, not wanted, and only spend what is necessary to maintain the safe operation of the Sheriff’s Office and provide the services that are expected by the community. If we don’t spend it, we return it, because it belongs to the taxpayers.”