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Friday, May 6, 2016

Area officials dealing with rising fuel costs

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The rising price of fuel has cut into the wallets of everyone, including county officials.

Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton told The Brazil Times that his department has already used 60 percent of its budgeted amount for gasoline this fiscal year.

However, Heaton said the department is functioning well despite the rising cost of gasoline.

"We are making a few changes," he said, "but as of right now, we're still maintaining."

Still, Heaton said cutting back on patrolling isn't an option.

"Nobody really prepared for $4 for a gallon of gas, or $5 if it reaches that high," Heaton said. "But during our busy times, our peak times, we'll still have full enforcement."

Heaton said each officer has a gas card and the use of the cards show up on a monthly report. He said officers are not allowed gas allowances and if they use their vehicle while off-duty, they have to pay for the gasoline.

"We have checks and balances in place," he said. "(The officers) still have off-duty privileges, but it's their responsibility to put gas in the car if they're off-duty. That's not the taxpayers' responsibility."

Brazil City Police Chief Terry Harrison echoed Heaton's sentiments.

"It's going to catch up to us really quick," Harrison said. "We're still working on budget issues. We're trying to put our budget together to see where we stand.

"We've done some things to try to cut back."

Harrison said officers are not allowed to use their vehicles off-duty. He said they were until about one month ago, and that was only for minimal usage.

However, Harrison said he doesn't want to limit the amount of patrolling going on because of rising gasoline prices.

"The main thing we want to do is cut back our response time," Harrison said. "If we have (two officers) in a car, we'll be stuck."

The Clay County Commissioners have scheduled a special meeting for 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, to discuss rising fuel costs.

"Just like everybody else, we're in a crunch," Commissioner Jack Withers said.

The commissioners plan on discussing the issue with several county departments.

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Maybe some of the city trucks should be monitored too. I have watched them drive all over town and do nothing. Then back to the garage. How many times can we "check" conditions of the roads? And when there is a problem the don't fix it anyway.

-- Posted by Icareaboutbrazil on Thu, May 22, 2008, at 7:17 AM

Fuel cost for emergency workers should be subsidized by the Government (U.S. and State) and I really don't like cutting back on the officers personal use of their work vehicles either. All law officers are always on duty, when their shift ends they are still expected to be armed and ready to work. As for the Sheriff Department Deputies I find it safer when they are using their cruiser for personal business, that vehicle is at least on the road and not parked in a driveway somewhere and that deputy can respond to an emergency from whereever he/she is located. I'd rather have them in their work vehicle than their personal one, just makes sense to me!!!

-- Posted by BowlingGreenGuy on Thu, May 22, 2008, at 12:30 PM


-- Posted by rdevil8 on Fri, May 23, 2008, at 10:31 AM

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