Olmsted County taxes will fund the $37,000 this year and $102,500 next year to provide another patrol deputy in Stewartville.
A recent $687,530 agreement to enhance Stewartville patrols in 2022 stems from increased calls as the city grows, but Olmsted County Sheriff Kevin Torgerson said the contract doesn’t cover all costs.
“It’s basically a 50/50 deal, and this is the same with all our contracts,” he said. The county has law enforcement coverage contracts with Byron and Eyota.
The city contracts cover the average salary for a patrol deputy, but the county pays for equipment, training and uniform expenses.
With the new Stewartville contract starting in January, Torgerson said it will take four to five months to get the added deputy on board with sufficient training.
“If we want to get this person down there, which we all agree we need to do, we need to get them hired now so that hopefully by the first of February or first of March we will have this program started down there,” he said.
Tuesday morning, Olmsted County commissioners on the administrative committee approved using nearly $37,000 in existing county funds to hire and begin the process of equipping and training a new deputy.
The commissioners also approved the proposed 2022 budget to provide $102,500 for added equipment and training expenses, with Stewartville’s contract covering the anticipated $112,500 salary for the deputy.
“It’s a big supplement,” county commissioner Mark Thein said of the county expense, which will primarily be funded by county property taxes.
Wilfredo Roman-Catala, Olmsted County's chief financial officer, said the equipment and other expenses won’t be an annual expense for the deputy dedicated to the Stewartville contract.
“Those are one-time items that are cyclical, meaning that the next time we buy a squad car and those things will be five years later,” he said.
The new Stewartville contract was the result of negotiations between the Sheriff’s Office and city officials that ended with a 4-1 Stewartville City Council vote to approve the agreement in September.
The agreement also calls for the addition of a sixth deputy in 2023.