Mayor wants answers after Ramsey County Sheriff's Office filing error

The Ramsey County Sheriff's Department missed an important deadline to apply for state funding. As a penalty, it's getting less money than it should have received.

Vadnais Heights Mayor Bob Fletcher, who is also the former sheriff, is worried that his city is going to have to pay more deputies to patrol his city.

"This is state aid that Minnesota gives to law enforcement agencies throughout the state to help offset their pension costs," said Fletcher.

Every police department and sheriff's office applies for money each year with the State Department of Revenue.

This year's allocation to the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office totaled $1.7 million dollars. That's after it was penalized by $191,000 for missing the application deadline. Mayor Fletcher worries the shortfall could cost his city more for sheriff patrols.

"Now those dollars certainly go to the Sheriff's Office, but in Vadnais Heights we are one of their contracts,” said Fletcher. “There are seven cities that they provide police services for. That money is slated to come to us as a source of financing and revenue.  So when it doesn't come there's a loss here in Vadnais Heights."  

But the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office says there will be no such loss.

In a statement released Tuesday, the office says it had only budgeted to receive $1,698,529.99 from the Department of Revenue. The $1.7 million it was awarded after the penalty was "$22,076 more than we anticipated receiving."

A spokesman says the state allocation means it will not affect deputy patrol in the seven contract cities and won’t cost those cities an extra dime. But Fletcher is not convinced.

"So that's probably the weakest argument you're going to get today that we weren't expecting to get that much, anyhow, the fact that we got penalized $200,000 puts us back to what we expected, we should have gotten the additional $200,000 in Ramsey County,” said Fletcher.

The mayor is convinced that had the extra money from the state come through, it could have provided more money for police coverage in the seven cities that contract with Ramsey County. The department budgeted $25,000; Fletcher believes it could have been more.