Gasconade County Sheriff John Romanus came to the County Commission meeting last Thursday, along with the other county elected officials, at the request of the commissioners to meet and discuss issues they may be facing going into the new budget year of 2019. The sheriff said simply he was facing increased costs.
“What is the percentage of the current budget we would need to provide out of general revenue?” asked Presiding Commissioner Larry Miskel.
The sheriff said he was hoping to get between 50 or 60 percent of his budget from the county. If county general revenue funds can’t meet the needs of the Sheriff’s Office, he says the shortfall could be made up with a sales tax increase from Gasconade County residents. The last attempt to get a sales tax increase for county law enforcement funding failed in a county-wide election.
“Last year we were up (number of crime-associated calls) from where we were the year before,” said Sheriff Romanus. “I don’t see this slowing down.”
He said Gasconade County is surrounded by counties that have increased their population and are starting to flow into this county, with the assumption that more people will mean more calls, crime-related or not. The Sheriff’s Office works with all law enforcement agencies in the surrounding counties and other first responders and local police departments in Gasconade County.