County expenditures cut further

Officials of the state Commission of Correction, which has the certification powers, are scheduled to be visiting the county jail on Wednesday.

Road patrol reductions eyed

Cutting appropriations to the county Sheriff's Department have been a recent focus of county supervisors, as the agency includes the largest non-mandated expense shouldered by taxpayers: the sheriff's road patrol.

Discussions of cutting the patrol staffing have prompted controversy, with supervisors representing the city of Glens Falls or Queensbury generally arguing to reduce the patrol, while those supervisors representing the rural northern towns argue to retain the patrol staffing - police presence in the small towns is vital to public safety, they say.

A total of $30,000 has been cut from the sheriff's department annual overtime costs of about $470,000 in the latest budget trimming, officials said Monday. Road patrol overtime was budgeted at $233,000 and will be $200,000 for 2010. Jail personnel overtime, with $215,000 allotted for 2009 total now, will remain the same, as will the $22,000 for 2009 emergency dispatch overtime.

Deeper cuts to patrol overtime could be made if organizers of special events - like Americade and the Adirondack Nationals Car Show - pay for their own crowd control, county officials said. Both of these two are held annually in Lake George.

Much of the officers' overtime costs go toward weekend duties at large events as well as police escorts for parades.

Nov. 10, the supervisors endorsed an extension of early retirement incentives for sheriff's officers. Whether this offer will end up in a reduced staff isn't clear - county officials earlier this year assumed six officers would take the incentive and retire early, but only three have done so.

One big element of the county's tax increase has been the 3 percent wage increases for many of the county workers, agreed upon before the county's financial troubles.

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