Commissioners approve budget transfers to two emergency groups

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Pennington County 911 and Emergency Management are two vital groups who help keep our community safe, and they can continue to do their jobs thanks to two budget approvals.

On Tuesday the Pennington County Commissioners approved transferring more than $760,000 from the General Fund to the E911 Fund.

E911 is the budget of the Pennington County 911 Center.

Commissioners do this transfer every year to help pay operating expenses and dispatcher salaries.

With extreme weather events, it also helps cushion the costs for extra staffing.

Ted Rufledt, Deputy Director of Technology and Budget, Pennington County 911 Center, says, "We are always properly staffed for whatever we anticipate the demand is going to be so we have more people working during key dates in the summer or if we know there's a blizzard coming we will staff up for that. We have money budgeted every year over time and additional staffing when needed."

The other group, Pennington County Emergency Management, got approved for $154,000, which helps pay for a variety of things.

Alexa White, Deputy Director, Pennington County Emergency Management, says, "Our office staff and our expenses, our administrative costs, and like I said the programming that we put on with our classes that we have, our CERT classes, our Stop the Bleed classes, our public education events as well as expenses that we would have if we open the EOC and keeping things ready to go in the event of a disaster."

White says the money also helps pay for public warnings and messages.