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Vilas County Committee Approves Proposed 2022 Justice Center Budget

Vilas County Sheriff's Office

The preliminary 2022 budget for all Justice Center operations was approved last week by the Vilas County law enforcement committee showing an increase of 6% over the 2021 approved budget.

The largest portion of Justice Center expenditures are in the Sheriff’s department budget followed by jail then communications with emergency management anticipating a decrease.

Sheriff Joe Fath indicated they will seek to purchase four squad cars next year and two pickup trucks that will be unmarked. His anticipated 2022 budget is $5,085,286 up from $4,999,117.

“We will not need a transport van this year, but we may need an additional deputy for court services,” Sheriff Fath said. “That person may not be needed until the second judge begins court, but they may request a deputy be assigned and we would have to comply although we are looking at options for viewing the two courtrooms from one location.”

The communications budget is expected to increase significantly going from $106,098 to $234,039. Jail administrator Bill Weiss indicated he received information that the state will be pulling inmates out of the county jail.

“We currently have 17 state inmates that we receive $51.46 per day each for their stay,” Weiss said. “I received a letter July 14 indicating they are pulling state inmates out. This could cost us loosing over $400,000 in revenue.”

The anticipated jail budget for 2022 is $2,018,119 up from $1,786,805.

Emergency management director Sheri Congleton projected a significant decrease in her 2022 budget going from $106,098 to $69,198. State aid is expected to increase and there will be no capital purchases.

The committee approved forwarding the 2022 preliminary budget to the county finance director Darcy Smith.

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