Sullivan asked to appropriate additional funds for autopsies

J. H. Osborne • Apr 7, 2013 at 2:37 AM

BLOUNTVILLE — Sullivan County’s annual budget, as approved by the Sullivan County Commission last year, did not properly fund the account that covers autopsies provided by the forensics center at East Tennessee State University.

County commissioners are being asked to appropriate an additional $23,768 to adequately fund the account for the rest of this fiscal year, which ends June 30. That’s on top of the $137,660 already in the county’s budget for that account.

Sullivan County is among eight counties that receive services from — and provide financial support to — the forensics center at ETSU.

The cost is based on a percentage share of the center’s annual caseload — as calculated on average figures from the prior five years. Sullivan County is the largest user among the group — with an allocation of 73 autopsies, or 25.8 percent of the total, for this fiscal year. Based on that 25.8 percent, Sullivan County’s share of the operations costs for the forensics center is $120,139 — while its share of debt service for the center is $41,289 — this year.

The next-largest user is Washington County with 63 autopsies, placing the county at 22.26 percent — with a total cost of $132,708 ($103,682 for its share of operational costs, and $29,026 for its share of debt service). Hawkins county ranks fourth among users — with 42 autopsies, or 14.84 percent (for a total cost of $72,958 this year, including $69,121 for operational costs and $3,837 for debt service).

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