Larimer County Sheriff’s Office officials are facing a new problem: natural disaster responses, once relatively rare, are happening with greater frequency and severity, putting a strain on the sheriff’s office budget.
Officials are beginning to gather data on the costs of responding to natural disasters, something that in earlier decades was not done, according to Justin Whitesell, emergency operations manager with the sheriff’s office, and Capt. Joe Shellhammer.
The emergencies, ranging from flood rescue to wildfires, exclude federal disasters, but still have reached $870,000 this year with plenty of time left for further disaster response, and the costs those disasters might incur, throughout the rest of the year, according to the sheriff’s office.
In prior years, the costs were small enough to be negligible, Shellhammer told the county commissioners during a presentation at their administrative matters meeting on Tuesday.
“What has happened throughout the years, the sheriff’s office just absorbed that and took it out of our budget,” Shellhammer said.“Back in the early 2000s, late 1990s, the fire season was a lot shorter, we didn’t have calls every single day like we do now. We’re not going to be able to absorb this, probably, moving forward, especially if we stay in that million dollar range or move past that million dollar range.”
Keeping better track of the costs of responding to major crises is part of the sheriff’s office’s goal, Whitesell and Shellhammer said.
Large federal disasters like the Cameron Peak Fire have the advantage of receiving federal support for responses, but according to Shellhammer, the major problem is smaller, near constant disasters like wildfires.
“This summer, it’s just been constant,” Shellhammer said. “It hasn’t been that gigantic fire that’s lasted three weeks, it’s been every couple days something happening…plus, the fire season is going from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31.”
Various scientific organizations, including the United States Geological Survey, have tied a changing climate to an increase in disasters.
Commissioners agreed that it was necessary when determining the county’s yearly budget to put greater consideration into the costs of responding to natural disasters.
“Maybe we really need to take a deep dive in those numbers, and look at being proactive, and thinking about the burn scar and climate change and some more of the risk for wildfire and flooding,” said Commissioner Jody Shadduck-McNally, who suggested a work session with commissioners, budget staff and the sheriff’s office to investigate the issue further. “We should maybe look at that and look at your budget and see what kind of things we need to plan for.”
Wise (formerly TransferWise) is the cheaper, easier way to send money abroad. It helps people move money quickly and easily between bank accounts in different countries. Convert 60+ currencies with ridiculously low fees - on average 7x cheaper than a bank. No hidden fees, no markup on the exchange rate, ever.
How to access the offer?
1- Click here
2- Select “Register''
3- Enter your email address, create a password, and select your country of residence
4- Fill out the required personal information, and the free first transfer offer will be applied automatically.
Benefits of the Multi-Currency Account:
- Free to create online
- Hold 50+ currencies
- Get multiple local bank details in one account (including EU, UK, US)
- Convert currency at the real exchange rate, even on weekends
- Spend whilst travelling on the Wise debit card without high conversion fees
Wise International Transfers:
- $1.5 billion saved by customers every year
- Send money to over 60 target currencies
- Lower fees for larger transfers
- No hidden fees. No bad exchange rates. No surprises.
- Send your money with a bank transfer, or a debit or credit card