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Lee County Commissioners set to review final draft of next year’s budget

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Coming up today, the Lee County Board of County Commissioners go over the final draft of next year’s budget.

Part of that plan includes a newly outlined budget for the sheriff’s office.

The sheriff’s office is asking for a little more than $241 million. This would be a 12.2% increase from last year’s budget. And in the proposal we see that money being spent on additional staff and enhancing pre-existing programs. This would include funding for more than 1,600 positions.

Sheriff Carmine Marceno wants to add 20 full-time positions to expand the narcotics division. He also wants to add 10 full-time positions for judicial and court operations.

Finally, four full-time school resource officers with two of the four to be added in August 2023. This would all cost about $22.8 million, a 13.3% increase from last year.

Also in the budget outline, the sheriff’s office includes a strategic five-year plan. He mentions the need for enhanced corrections operations, facilities, and court security.

The Sheriff also lists the Community Outreach Bureau, saying it builds a stronger relationship with the community thru enhanced communication and social media.

Also of note, $16-million over the next five years to replace the vehicles. And the department eventually needs to replace 38 of its 41 drones by the end of this year because they’re going to be obsolete. That’s because of a new state law restricting what kinds of drones law enforcement can use.

The Board of County Commissioners has two meetings. Their regularly scheduled meeting starts at 9:30 and then the budget review takes place in a workshop meeting at 1:30.

You can find an outline of the final draft up for approval online here.

Lowell Bowen

From the time he was 8 years old Lowell knew he wanted to be on TV. Well, as people say one thing leads to another, that's how Lowell started his career in the news industry. Lowell has been part of The South Florida Daily since the very beginning.

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