Davis County's proposed budget for 1991 will keep property tax rates at their current levels, depsite opening and staffing costs at the new $20 million justice complex in West Farmington.

The county sheriff's department gets a big increase in its budget to operate the new 400-bed jail and court complex but will also lose up to 15 positions in its non-jail divisions to offset the increase.The tentative budget was released this week by the county commissioners and a public hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11, in the commission chambers.

Commission Chairman Gayle Stevenson described the process of keeping spending within current tax revenues and making cuts in county services as "traumatic."

Capt. K.D. Simpson, chief deputy for operations in the sheriff's department, said the cuts will hurt and the department is trying to find ways to lessen the impact.

Sheriff-elect Glen Clary, who takes office January 7, has been involved in the budgeting process since his election in November and is aware of the effects, Simpson said.

"We don't know exactly where the cuts are going to be made," said Simpson. "Some services will obviously be reduced and we may start charging for some services that heretofore were free."

The sheriff's department has 113 staff members, 73 in the non-jail divisions such as patrol and paramedic, dispatch, warrant service and detectives. Cutting 15 positions out of that is a 20 percent staff cut. Simpson said such a cut would be devastating.

Simpson said morale in the department, with the cuts being announced right before Christmas, has plummeted.

Several other county departments will lose positions but only the sheriff's department will have to cut personnel through reduction in force.

Stevenson said the actual cuts will be left to the department and Clary, who was elected after defeating incumbent Harry Jones in the October GOP primary.

Other county departments will not fill current or future vacancies, Stevenson said, and some positions recommended by the county personnel department for salary increases to keep current with private sector jobs were turned down.

The remaining county employees will receive a 3 percent cost-of-living increase and are eligible for merit increases of up to 1.5 percent in the proposed budget.

The county's general fund for 1991 is pegged at $13.2 million, down slightly from the $13.4 million in the 1990 budget. Property tax revenues are expected to increase due to growth, from $11.6 million last year to $12.3 million in 1991.

But the county anticipates starting the new budget year with a surplus of only $900,000 in the general fund compared with the $1.4 million carried over into the current year.

"Our main message for this next year is there is no tax increase in any of the levies we control," said Stevenson. The commission sets the levy for the general fund and separate levies for paramedic services, the health department and the library district.

"We determined there will be no increase. But that doesn't mean the need isn't there," Stevenson said. He and commissioners Robert Rose and Dub Lawrence pared $3 million from spending requests submitted by the county departments.

The sheriff's department's administrative and patrol budget is being cut from $2.48 million to $1.89 million, while jail operations is going from $1.5 million to $2.6 million.

Other cuts made in the proposed 1991 budget include: Precinct court, from $115,000 to $55,000; information systems, from $896,000 to $601,000; recorder's office, from $331,000 to $315,000; county attorney, from $890,000 to $852,000; and animal control, from $404,000 to $349,000.

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Budget Breakdown

Department Adopted 1990 Proposed 1991

Commission $185,000 $203,000

District court $6,000 $6,000

Precinct court $115,000 $55,000

Juvenile court $25,000 $25,000

Sanity hearings $11,500 $10,000

Public defender $88,500 $90,000

Admin. services $234,000 $240,000

Personnel $170,000 $165,000

Information systems $896,000 $601,000

Auditor $213,000 $155,000

Clerk $301,000 $210,000

Treasurer $132,000 $144,000

Recorder $331,000 $315,000

Attorney $890,000 $852,000

Assessor $598,000 $649,000

Surveyor $246,000 $273,000

Non-departmental $1,902,000 $1,768,000

Buildings/grounds $403,000 $414,000

Buildings/grounds 0 $304,000

Planning $362,000 $353,000

Economic development $44,945 $42,905

Sheriff $2,482,000 $1,893,000

Jail $1,545,000 $2,652,000

State forest fire $13,108 $13,433

Animal control $404,000 $349,000

Emergency services $74,468 $89,000

Ambulance services $296,000 $334,000

Poor & indigent $5,000 $5,000

Vehicle maintenance $171,000 $164,000

Agricultural extension$125,000 $120,000

Exhibits $288,000 $60,000

Operational transfer $655,000 $645,000