Hearing Tonight On Pitt County Budget

In a 5-3 vote Monday morning the Pitt County Board of Commissioners denied giving the Sheriffs Office several hundred thousand dollars in revenue it raised from holding federal inmates for the U.S. Marshals Service, but instead that money will stay in the county general fund. Sheriff Neil Elks says the money was raised by housing federal inmates $78 dollars a head per day.

During Monday's meeting, Sheriff Neil Elks addressed the board about the need for the money -- which he says would go toward upgrading their aging fleet of deputy cruisers, some of which have more than 150,000 miles on them, as well as training and ammunition amid budget cuts.

Commissioners who voted against the measure say it would have a negative effect on the county's fund balance if that money is not able to balance out other department shortfalls. Commissioner Glen Webb made the motion that would provide at least funds for ammo and vehicles, but that failed 5 to 3, and says he will always vote for safety

"If I'm going to err as far as the fund balance goes or I'm going to err with the tax rate- I'm going to err on the side that people are safe and alive and that these deputies and jailers get to go home to their families," said commissioner Glen Webb.

"I have a great passion for this. I really love what I do, and I really want to protect the citizens, and they deserve to be protected," said Sheriff Elks.

The issue is expected to be raised again at Tuesday evening's budget public hearing at 7 pm.

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