The Clark County Sheriff’s Office and the County Attorney’s Office have partnered to purchase a van that could save money on the transportation of juveniles.
The Sheriff’s Office currently must transport juveniles from Lexington to Winchester for court appearances, which ties up a patrol car and at least two office employees for every two juveniles.
Deputies also pick up juveniles from Mount Sterling.
Deputies pick up five to 10 juveniles a week, requiring three to five trips per patrol car.
“If the sheriff doesn’t have enough deputies, he may have to have one person make multiple trips,” Clark County Attorney Brian Thomas said.
With a 50-mile round trip and an average of 300 miles per week, Thomas used the 2012 IRS reimbursable rate of 55 1/2 cents to calculate a cost of about $8,658 a year for juvenile transportation. At 500 miles per week, the cost could be as much as $14,300. That’s without the cost of paying the salaries of two employees to make each trip.
The purchase of a 15-person van for $9,800 could pay for itself inside a year.
“It’s an idea we’ve been kicking around for a while,” Clark County Sheriff Berl Perdue said. “We thought it would be more fiscally responsible if we could get a van and make one trip to pick everybody up. It would save gas, time and salaries of the people. And it keeps us from taking deputies off the road. So it just seemed like it made a lot of sense.”
The van, purchased from the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, is equipped as needed, and has just 10,000 miles.
“Basically, we’d just buy it and put a radio in it and we’re ready,” Perdue said.
“We can save from 200 to 400 miles a week and we’re going to save a significant amount of money,” Thomas said.
If the van saves the Sheriff’s Office 400 miles a week, it could mean a savings of about $11,544 a year.
Again, that’s without the cost of an hour-long round trip for two employees twice per day.
Finding the money could have been difficult as the county continues to operate on a tight budget, but Thomas said his office returned excess fees to the county to cover the cost of the van’s purchase.
“The statute says I am to return excess fees,” said Thomas, whose office generates funds from the collection of delinquent taxes, cold check fee collection and other collections. “It’s been my practice to return money back to the Fiscal Court when it can help the county.
“I paid excess fees to the county, and the Fiscal Court will use that to make the purchase and the sheriff’s office will utilize the vehicle.”
“It’s just one of those ideas I kicked off Brian and, of course, Brian takes ideas and runs,” Perdue said.
Contact Casey Castle at email@example.com.