Judge Lindsay Burton of the Dawson County Juvenile Court requested a significant budget increase during last week's board of commissioners work session.
The requested amount totaled $24,200 and is needed to cover child and parent attorney costs, as well as court reporter fees. The additional funds are needed due to the large number of serious dependency cases this year, according to Burton.
"I wish I could say that we didn't have as many abused and neglected children in Dawson County, but unfortunately, this year we do," Burton told the commissioners.
The rise in the number of cases increases the cost to the county.
The funds requested would include $15,000 for child attorney costs, $8,000 in parent attorney costs and $1,200 for court reporting.
The court reporting fees are needed as funds for court reporting were moved to cover current attorney invoices that had to be paid prior to this request, according to the submitted request.
Burton assured Chairman Mike Berg that the court is not only efficient, but diligent, in tracking and keeping costs down as much as possible.
"We are very diligent in regards to ensuring that people are billing appropriately," she said.
She explained that the budget for the year was based on numbers from 2015.
"We used those figures to estimate," she said. "We simply cannot predict the number of cases that come in."
Berg asked if the requested funds would be enough to cover the remaining expenses for the year.
"I certainly hope so," Burton said.
The board will vote during the Aug. 18 voting session on whether or not to provide the funds.