Friday, February 22, 2013

Ketchum gets $141K refund from county

Police contract saved more than expected

Express Staff Writer

Blaine County commissioners have returned just over $141,000 to Ketchum for money that the city’s police department, contracted through the county, has saved since the arrangement between the two entities began in 2009.

“I’m always looking for ways to save money,” Police Chief Steve Harkins said at a City Council meeting Tuesday, during which the commissioners presented the city with a poster-board-size check.

Commissioner Larry Schoen said he hopes the “cooperative relationship” demonstrated between the two entities serves as a model to the community for what can be accomplished with trust and hard work.

Since 2009, Harkins has spent about $368,000 less than Ketchum has paid the county to provide law-enforcement services to the city. He said in an interview after the meeting that he’s spent about $87,000 of that money to improve the department. He also said the county and the city have agreed to keep about $140,000 of the saved money in a trust account for the department, leaving $141,000 for the refund. According to Harkins, the city will pay the county about $1.27 million for law enforcement in fiscal 2013.

“After three years, [department] moral is up, crime is down and we’ve saved almost $1.2 million,” Mayor Randy Hall said. “Nothing puts a smile on your face like a $140,000 check.”

Brennan Rego:



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