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Northumberland board fields budget requests

HEATHSVILLE—Although a draft budget for 2024 is still weeks away according to county administrator Luttrell Tadlock, the Northumberland board of supervisors on Wednesday, March 22, listened to budget requests from some department heads and community organizations. The current fiscal year budget is $45.8 million and was up from $43 million in the prior fiscal year.

Sheriff Johnny Beauchamp had the most extensive list of budget requests. As has been proposed with the schools and other county departments, Beauchamp budgeted a 5% pay increase for staff within the sheriff’s office and animal control. No dollar amount regarding that cost was made public by the county. In addition to requesting two additional patrol deputies and one animal control officer, Beauchamp requested an additional $25,000 to hire four part-time dispatchers and $20,000 to cover overtime costs.

Beauchamp said the three additional deputies would be hired over the next three fiscal years at a salary range of $45,000 to $53,000. A new vehicle would be required with the additional staff at a cost of $55,000. Beauchamp said the new deputies would allow the department to “increase the minimum staffing from two deputies to three plus a supervisor,” adding that with the exception of the last three months, the office “hasn’t been fully staffed for years.” The additional staff would also ease the strain on existing staff for annual leave, sick leave and training….

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