Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott recently submitted the Lee County Sheriff's Office proposed budget for fiscal year 2014-15 to the Lee County Board of County Commissioners.
This year's request asks for a 5.3 percent increase over the current approved fiscal year budget. The increase brings the annual budget to just over $149 million dollars.
The budget remains more than $11 million dollars below the 2008 commission approved fiscal year budget when Lee County's economy was at its growth peak.
"The Lee County Sheriff's Office has continued to work with the County Commissioners and County Administrators during the years of economic uncertainty, but the realization is that our economy is now on the rebound with the construction of new homes, lower foreclosures, rising property values and tourism," Scott said in a letter to Commission Chairman Larry Kiker.
He went on to outline the proposed increases such as a 3 percent cost of living for employees ($1.9 million dollars); employer retirement mandates by the Florida Retirement System requiring an additional 3.7 percent to the $2.4 million dollars already introduced this fiscal year; and, capital costs which can no longer be ignored to overcome the high maintenance and fuel costs for the aging vehicle fleet, vessels and helicopter.
"We will continue to be good stewards and utilize our resources and funding fiscally, but as our economy, population and numbers of visitors continue to increase so must our budget in order to sustain the law enforcement and correction services that our constituents expect," Scott said.
The complete letter from the sheriff to the Commission Chairman, as well as the required line item budget, is posted on the Lee County Sheriff's Office website at: www.sheriffleefl.org under the "About Us" tab, then click "Public Reports."
Visitors to the Lee County Sheriff's Office website will also find the Five Year Strategic Plan and 2013 Scorecard in the same section.