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McCrobie gets a jump start on VOCA budget

By Staff | Feb 11, 2009

The Tyler County Commission won’t be working on next year’s budget until March, but organizations are already approaching the commission with budget requests.

The first up at the commission’s Feb. 10 meeting was Tyler County Victims Advocate Joni McCrobie.

“It’s time to renew our VOCA Grant, so I’ve been working on it,” said McCrobie.

McCrobie is applying to renew the county’s Victims Of Crime Act (VOCA) Grant. The grant is for $24,791, which is the same amount she received last year. The county’s portion of the cost would be $8,517.

“The Victims Of Crime Act has pledged to give us $24,791, which is the same as they gave us last year,” said McCrobie. “We did get a memo that said don’t ask for any more than you got last year, because you’re not going to get it. That’s the magic number that they are going to give us, which leaves $8,517 for the county’s cash match.”

Combined, McCrobie’s budget for next year is $33,308, which is $189 more than last year. The small increase is due to a three percent increase for McCrobie’s salary, her first raise since being Tyler County Victims Advocate seven years ago.

The commissioners were pleased with the budget request, especially Commissioner Bob Wable, who is in charge of putting together the budget.

“This is fine,” remarked Wable. “This is all I need right here.”

In addition, McCrobie had a surprise for Commission President Charles “Pork” Smith. “Are you going to mention that you are returning back to us $4,100 this year,” Wable asked McCrobie.

Due to a budgeting error, McCrobie had $4,012 extra in her budget she was not supposed to have. When she realized the mistake, she offered to return that money to the commission.

“I really don’t think I’m turning that back to you,” said McCrobie. “I think it was just a mistake. There is $4,012 in my budget in the salary position this year at this time. I think it’s a mistake, I don’t think it’s supposed to be mine.”

“They were cutting funds and they asked us to pick up the balance,” explained Wable. “It’s possible that inadvertently a budget revision might have been done twice instead of just once. I told her let’s wait a couple months just to make sure and I’d correct it prior to June 30th. You have to tell us it’s okay to take money out of your budget.”

Smith thanked McCrobie for her honesty.

“We are glad to accept all refunds,” joked Smith.

Also presenting a budget request for next year was West Virginia University Extension Agent Kelly Dagesse. She is asking for $23,500, which is an increase of $4,500 more than last year. The increase is due to the state reclassifying the Extension’s secretary as an administrative secretary, which increases that position’s salary by seven percent.

Despite the increase, Dagesse explained that the Extension Service helps bring revenue into the county as well.

“The community, including the people who were able to participate in our programs, were able to bring in over $600,000 into Tyler County because of Extension programs because Extension is in the county,” said Dagesse. I think that is dramatic. That would be a return of 2,500 percent on your investment.”

Dagesse also hoped commissioners would consider the request she made on Jan. 13 for an extra $2,000 to cover the administrative secretary’s salary for the remainder of this fiscal year.