ESCANABA - The Delta County Board of Commissioners is in the midst of meeting to discuss budget requests for various county departments for the 2013 budget.
Recently, County Administrator Nora Viau and members of the board of commissioners met with some department heads, including the prosecuting attorney's office and friend of the court.
Prosecuting Attorney Steve Parks highlighted the significant amount of cases that come through the prosecuting attorney's office and asked the board to not eliminate a crime victims line item in their budget.
"On the budget proposal that we received ... was an elimination of the crime victims line item, which is a really crucial line item for our operation that not only services victims, but really serves as a place for us in operating the office," said Parks. "That would be a very significant loss, which would have a ripple effect through the budget."
The office has also proposed having former office manager Carol Kinnart return to help in the office two days a week, and for the office's budget to be based on a 40-hour work week for support staff members when needed. Each request is due to the volume of cases the office receives. The board approved Kinnart to return to the office on a part-time basis earlier this year after her retirement -due to the workload in the office.
Christine Pepin, who works in the office, said when Kinnart is present she finds there is less of a need for support staff to work more than their current 35 hours per week unless there is a big trial, as Kinnart knows the job well and things get done quickly.
"With her, that cuts down the overtime for the rest of us," said Pepin. "Without her, the volume of work is simply too much for us to do over there."
In regard to the 40-hour request, Pepin said the office would like this to be built into the budget just so they have the option should the office's workload become too significant.
Parks and Pepin both noted their budget proposal would include expenditures of approximately $543,000, which still accounts for $33,000 less than last year's budget.
The board also heard J.P. Rudell and his requests for the Friend of the Court office.
Rudell said this year's budget request from FOC is quite similar to last year's proposal.
One part of the FOC budget proposal that differs from years' past is their equipment purchase line item.
"Last year we didn't have any money in our equipment purchase," said Rudell. "I'm asking this year for $500, because we now have to pay for our printers and monitors. I think we have 11 computer monitor systems, so I think there's a likelihood that something's going to break down."
Rudell also requested an increase of $1,000 in travel expenses due to conference and travel costs.
The board will continue meeting with other department heads in the coming weeks to hear their budget requests for fiscal year 2013.