MAYVILLE – Chautauqua County Sheriff Jim Quattrone is seeking an expenditure increase of more than $520,000 from the 2020 adopted budget, according to the 2021 County Executive Tentative Budget.
Quattrone told members of the Chautauqua County Legislature during a budget review last week that he budgeted 2021’s jail expenditures in anticipation of more call-offs, etc. should COVID-19 restrictions continue to loosen.
For years, the Chautauqua County Jail budget has experienced a degree of fiscal stress due to overtime costs and other salary expenditures.
Quattrone says, however, that the overtime costs in 2020 has decreased significantly from years past. According to the Tentative Budget, the 2020 amended jail budget is more than $450,000 less than the 2020 adopted budget.
He explains that there were multiple reasons for the decrease.
“Part of (the lower costs) is because of the lower jail population (because of bail reform),” Quattrone said. “With COVID, people have taken less time off, less call-in time. Last year, we increased the number of full-time staff and reduced the number of part-time staff.”
Quattrone says he budgeted 2021’s jail expenditures in anticipation of more call-offs, etc. should COVID-19 restrictions continue to loosen. The Sheriff is seeking an expenditure increase of more than $520,000 from the 2020 adopted budget, according to the Tentative Budget.
Legislator Terry Niebel asked Quattrone why there hasn’t been a cost-reduction in the jail budget as a whole despite the lower jail population. Quattrone says that the overtime costs, as well as increase in base pay for employees, are the major reasons.
The Sheriff acknowledged that he’s been approached before about closing parts of the jail in an effort to reduce staffing costs. He says his office has done that to an extent, adding that he also has to consider various requirements from New York State when considering those moves.
Additionally, the Sheriff confirmed during the review that three SRO’s were recently laid off due to some school districts pulling from agreements due to COVID budget concerns. He says that two of the three SRO’s were hired by the Jamestown Police Department.
The third SRO, meanwhile, is working on logistics in an effort to obtain employment, according to Quattrone.