BROOKSVILLE - Sheriff Al Nienhuis informed county commissioners Thursday he will return at least $700,000 in unspent budget funds to the county, effectively eliminating its deficit problem.
The move is possible, he said, "through the diligent efforts of his employees to control overtime and save money throughout the organization."
Commissioners this week asked staff to find $500,000 to close a shortfall hole.
In June, Nienhuis told commissioners his goal was to return $700,000 to cover the cost of the proposed pay increase for his employees. Given the possibility that events beyond the agency's control might have prevented him from accomplishing that, the county budget office had left that revenue out of their efforts to balance the budget, he said.
This $700,000, combined with a reduction in his budget of $50,000, means no county departments or constitutional offices need to identify any further reductions to their budgets, Nienhuis said in a press release.
"In fact, this solution will provide a surplus to the county of approximately $300,000 for the board of county commissioners to allocate as they deem appropriate or necessary," according to Nienhuis.
Added Nienhuis: "I want to commend the board chairman, board members and county administration on setting a positive tone this year for a highly professional, cooperative budget process that focused on working together to solve problems and providing the leadership and teamwork our citizens want and deserve from their elected officials."