It won't be long before there will be more deputies patrolling neighborhoods, businesses and highways in McDuffie County.
In the tentative 2009 fiscal budget approved by county commissioners last Wednesday, commissioners agreed to hire three additional road deputies. Also approved for the sheriff's department were four new patrol cars.
The new personnel, including a benefits package, along with the new Ford Crown Victoria cars, will cost $104,000, according to McDuffie County Manager Don Norton.
Maj. Ronnie Williamson said another new deputy is being sought to replace Deputy Marc Thompson who resigned his position last week to go with the Columbia County Sheriff's Department.
"We'll be trying to replace him as soon as we can," Major Williamson said.
In other news related to the sheriff's department, commissioners received and approved a request from Maj. Williamson for $25,000 to replace the Life Safety System (fire alarm) at the McDuffie County Law Enforcement Center.
Maj. Williamson explained that the present system had become "obsolete and too costly" to repair.
"Replacement parts have become difficult to find and more costly to purchase," Maj. Williamson said. "The sheriff's department received notice last year that the system had reached its end of useful service and support - much like a computer system."
Back in August, because of a lightening strike, the system went off line. It recently was learned that repairs are not possible, he said.
Maj. Williamson requested that funding for a new system come from the Jail Fund. The estimated cost of a new system is $26,310. With the new system, Maj. Williamson said the same smoke and heat detectors, as well as wiring, will be used.
COUNTY BUDGET (PDF format)
2009 Proposed Budget Schedule III & IV
2009 Proposed Budget Expenditures
2009 Proposed Budget Revenue