Madison County passes 2021 budget

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Madison County’s 2021 budget is roughly 66 million dollars. More than 36 million of that will fund the sheriff’s office.

The budget was approved Wednesday morning by the Madison County Commission.

“This commission stretches every dollar as far as it can be stretched,” said Chairman Dale Strong during the meeting.

The Madison County Sheriff’s Office will use roughly 18 million dollars for the jail and 16 million for general law enforcement. The office will add 20 deputies, bringing the total number of deputies to 148.

“We need good deputies in our community. They are the ones who make decisions in a split second. You need the best quality people you can get,” said District 4 Commissioner, Phil Vandiver.

Included in the budget is a five percent cost of living raise for all county employees.

“This will help in recruiting. This will bring the entire pay scale up. It will assist in stopping the revolving door,” said Chairman Strong.

“We used to be a place where we’d come in and train them. The salary was so low they could go anywhere else and get a job,” said Vandiver.

The county IT department will also get a $460,000 to upgrade their digital security systems. However, with a roughly 7 million dollar growth in the budget, 7 county employees are being let go.

“There are things in the budget that we have to make some cuts with. That’s unfortunate about that. We are going to move forward and do the best we can,” said Vandiver.

Chairman Strong turned down one-on-one questions about the budget. Commissioners shared remorse over the lost jobs and suggested they would try to re-employ the lost jobs into other areas of the county.

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