Sheriff's budget stands to lose funds earned from Meals on Wheels

PLYMOUTH - Marshall County Sheriff Tom Chamberlin came before the Marshall County Commissioners seeking some answers on Monday.
Chamberlin had received a draft of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the county and Marshall County Council on Aging. The Sheriff’s Department contracts with the Council to provide the Meals on Wheels program.

The money paid for the service currently goes into the Sheriff’s “Commissary Fund” and has been used to help defray the money needed for jail upkeep and the cost of housing prisoners. The Sheriff also employs prisoners to actually prepare the meals and says that those involved have shown great “ownership” of the program stating that it gave the prisoners a feeling of being useful by - in their words - “…being able to give something back to the community.”

The Sheriff’s Department is allowed to bill for the cost of the meal - $3.25 - plus seventy cents for labor and infrastructure such as the cost of running the kitchen. Last month the Council on Aging had sent a check for the service for around $2700 and Chamberlin had sent around $1400 to the Auditor.

The MOU prepared by the county changed the payment arrangements for the service saying that payment should be sent directly to the county Auditor’s office rather than going through the Sheriff’s Department.

(Additional details for this report are available in the June 18 edition of The Pilot News.)