Scio Township extends its contract with the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office


Scio Township is continuing its important relationship with the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office.

As the current contract was set to expire at the end of this month, the Scio Township Board voted at its Dec. 13 meeting to approve extending the service contract with the WCSO. Another part of the new agreement will see Scio accepting related grant reimbursements that come from the Public Safety and Mental Health millage.

Scio Township officials said the fiscal impact will be a 3 percent increase in calendar year 2023 over the cost in 2022, which is an additional $40,000. The extension is from 2023 to 2026.

A letter to Scio from Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton states:

“Additionally, in 2018 the voters of Washtenaw County approved the Public Safety and Mental Health millage, a significant portion of which is used to cover the difference between the cost of delivering police services to our contracting jurisdictions and the agreed-upon contract price for those services. To demonstrate the investment of millage funding in support of the PSU architecture, starting January 1, 2023, the contract for Police Services will be invoiced at the full cost for each police services unit, including the portion previously subsidized by the Public Safety and Mental Health Millage. Your jurisdiction is encouraged to apply for a grant funded by the Public Safety and Mental Health Millage to defray a portion of this cost.”

The WCSO provided a cost analysis table that said in year 2023 the full cost per deputy is $208,220, but the subsidized cost per deputy would be at $170,471 with $37,749 provided per deputy from the millage grant.

Scio Township administrator Jim Merte explained the contract extension this way in his report to the board:

“The current Sheriff contract expires December 31, 2022 and Sheriff Jerry Clayton has been authorized to offer a four-year extension to all of its participating Local Government Units. The terms of the extension have been approved by the County Board of Commissioners and have been uniformly offered to participating Units. The terms have not been opened up to negotiation by individual participants although Sheriff Clayton and staff have made themselves available for meetings with local officials to educate and explain the development of all the components of the proposed contract extension. Meetings have occurred with Scio Township for that purpose. In order to defray the cost of the contracted Sheriff services, the voters of Washtenaw County, in 2018, approved a Public Safety and Mental Health millage, from which a portion of proceeds are offered to participating local governments in the form of grant reimbursements.”

According to Scio Township Supervisor Will Hathaway, the projected sheriff contract costs and millage grant amounts in 2023 will be:

Cost: $1,665,760

Grant amount: $301,992

Hathaway said the cost of the sheriff contract is approximately one third of Scio Township's annual general fund budget. He said the township also pays the expenses of the facility to house the sheriff outpost in the township’s fire station on North Zeeb Road.

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