As another year comes to an end and we begin a new year, we have completed the task of making a new budget. Every year the Sheriff submits two budget requests, one for the operation of the Sheriff's Office and one for the operation of the jail. We ended the on a very positive note, we were able to complete the year well within our budget. Our Sheriff's Office budget was about $16,000 under and the Jail was $41,888 under budget. I've submitted this year's budget requesting about $476,000 for the Sheriff's Office and $247,000 for the operation of the jail. The county commission met last week and approved our budget as requested.
This past year we were only able to recover a small portion of money the state owes the county for board bills on housing inmates. The state owes Iron County over $100,000 and nearly 39 million state-wide to other Sheriff's Offices. This is and will remain an issue we will have to deal with.
Since Probation and Parole are choosing not to revoke their probation for violations, this has increased the jail days which are not being reimbursed. Another concern is the incarceration of prisoner's budget. With several new laws and rules in effect on August 28, 2017, and the state withholding board bill payments, this seriously affects the county's general revenue budget.
We have applied for and received several grants for fiscal years 2019 and 2020. The Iron County Sheriff's Office was approved for just over $82,000 to supplement our Deputies salaries. At the present time, our deputy's annual salary is about $23,600 a year and with the supplement grant allows us to pay our deputies $30,000. Several other smaller grants from MoDot and USDA have been applied for to assist in putting deputies on the road additional hours for traffic safety during the holidays. These grants have been a very big plus for the county. They allow us to invest in our staff which is helping us to retain highly trained and skilled deputies. Another benefit is our deputies are choosing to make a home in the county and have become involved in many community activities.
Since taking office, we have been working to establish both short- and long-term operating plans. Long term plans included infrastructure improvement, vehicle fleet improvement, and staff training.
At present, I have been working closely with the county commission and have been able to accomplish upgrading our fleet to five Ford Explores, two trucks and four used highway patrol cars. The fleet is now all are the same color with easily recognizable markings. This has been accomplished with little cost to the county due to funds from the Law Enforcement Restitution Funds and Federal grants from the USDA. Deputies also have standardized uniforms, badges, and equipment. This was done to help our citizens recognize a member or vehicle from the Iron County Sheriff's Office.
Another short-term plan was to improve public confidence, criminal investigations, report writing, and community involvement. At present, deputies attend all public events and we have sent two deputies to the School Resource Officers School. It is my intention to have all deputies trained investigators. We will be seeking additional federal grant money for this project.
Deputies meet the Amtrak Train north and southbound daily. Also, we will soon be able to monitor the train station from the Sheriff's Department.
Another issue we are currently addressing is the process of planning and funding a new jail facility. New laws are forcing counties to take action in the housing of different categories of prisoners.
With all the flooding the past few years and approval of the County Commission, the Sheriff's Office was able to purchase a Rescue Boat from Missouri Water Patrol. The boat was purchased at no cost to the county using funds from a Sheriff's Special account. The boat will be equipped with a law enforcement radio, depth finder and other rescue equipment. With the help of the law enforcement restitution Funds, we will be sending two deputies to Basic Watercraft Operations, which includes Rescue Operations. Once our staff is fully trained we will began working and training with each of our fire departments, Emergency Medical Services, and other related agencies.
The Sheriff was nominated by the Missouri Sheriff's Association to be a member of the 10 person Amber Board Alert Oversite Committee. On January 15, 2020, Sheriff Medley went before the Senate Gubernatorial Confrontational Hearing Selection Committee and was approved.
Sheriff Medley recently attended a class on the use and operations of Drones for law enforcement. Upon completion of the class a Federal Aviation Administration test was administered and he received a Part 107 Unmanned Vehicle License. We will be applying for a grant to purchase a drone for the Sheriff's Office.
We are hoping to purchase 2 new vehicles this year. We have applied for assistance from USDA to help with the purchase of one of the vehicles. If approved the USDA grant will help pay up to 55% of the cost.
We have decided to join with Washington, St Francois, Madison County, and the Missouri Highway patrol in creating a Major Case Squad. With the limited number of local resources available within each department, this will allow us to have 10 to 15 trained investigators on scene and conducting an investigation within minutes, which quite often leads to an arrest within hours.
A special thank you to Chaplain Don Akers and Dr. Ralph Leigh for volunteering their services to the Iron County Sheriff's Office.