By SARA KENNEDY
MANATEE -- The Manatee County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday proposed a $104.4 million budget for next year, up 5 percent over 2013-2014.
Sheriff Brad Steube asked county commissioners for 12 new positions, but with a caveat: He plans to seek a matching grant to help pay for them.
The sheriff said he would be competing with hundreds of other agencies in the U.S. for the money, adding he did not know if Manatee County would get it.
He added he would "take a deep breath, and hope for the best."
"This year, if I don't get the grant, eight patrol deputies will go unfunded," he said.
The grant potentially could pay a total of $125,000 per deputy for eight deputies, over a three-year period, said comptroller Tom Salisbury.
The grant request will be submitted next week, and the county would find out if it has been awarded the money in September, he said.
Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitter @sarawrites.