Wednesday, May 17, 2017

County calls for renegotiating Forest Service-sheriff’s Mt. Lemmon deal

The Pima County Sheriff’s Department has two deputies living and working on Mount Lemmon year round for a total annual cost of about $278,000. Because so much of their patrol work occurs on Coronado National Forest land, the Forest Service chips in to help cover those costs. However, those contributions have been declining in recent years, and now the county supervisors say the arrangement needs to be renegotiated. On Tuesday, the board unanimously approved a $19,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for law enforcement costs but only extended the intergovernmental agreement for six months, at the end of which they hope what County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry called a “more equitable revenue sharing agreement” takes its place. As recently as fiscal year 2012, the Forest Service paid the county more than $42,000. The $19,000 payment represents roughly 7 percent of estimated costs, though more than 75 percent of calls “occur on USFS land,” according to a May 5 memo from Sheriff’s Department Bureau Chief Karl Woolridge...more

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