The pandemic may be over or not, but local governments like Clinton Township are still paying the costs associated with it.
In recent weeks, Clinton’s board has approved a budget change of $ 50,000 for increased overtime costs with the fire department and $ 150,000 for the Department of Police.
According to Police Chief Dina Caringi, COVID-19-related costs were in part the reason her OT went over budget. Staff shortages and an increase in school threats following the November 30 mass shooting at Oxford High School were also factors.
In a note to the board, the chief of police has stated the following reasons for the overtime:
Numerous COVID-19 diseases / exposures among staff
• Nine retirements resulted in staff shortages as a number of veteran officers left the department. Clinton Township reached its fully budgeted crew of 94 officers on December 15, 2021.
• Nine investigations into murders / suspicious deaths
• Eight fatal accident investigations
• Recent increase in studies of the threat in school
The board also approved an additional $ 50,000 in overtime for the fire department.
According to Fire Chief Tim Duncan, the OT budget for the first paycheck in January 2022 was $ 100,700 compared to $ 148,000 for the second half of January to March last year.
“The increase in overtime costs for 2021-2022 is primarily Covid sick leave among our firefighters,” Duncan said in a note. “Since April 2, 2021, the department has had 1,855 hours of overtime due to illness or quarantine regulations. This amounts to approximately $ 83,400 worth of overtime.”
Duncan said administrators evaluate overtime on a daily basis and at times “restrictions have been put in place where it is necessary to ensure adequate service coverage” throughout the township. He said the OT request to ensure that operations continue until the end of the fiscal year.
The money for the two departments comes from their respective fund holdings.