Androscoggin commissioners to begin budget talks

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AUBURN — The Androscoggin County Commission will begin discussing the proposed 2016 county budget during Wednesday’s workshop.

The workshop is the first of three planned for the next three weeks to review the budget for every department. Commissioners will meet with department heads, who will present their budget proposals for consideration.

The largest budget to be reviewed during the first workshop is the District Attorney’s Office, whose budget last year was $486,699.

Other departments scheduled to present their budgets Wednesday include Emergency Management Agency ($201,875 budgeted last year), Superior Court ($25,200), Victim/Advocate Restitution Specialist ($58,010), District Attorney – Joint Budget ($11,295), Victim-Witness Advocate Grant ($92,607), Registry of Deeds ($229,862) and Registry of Probate ($147,276).

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Budget reviews for the Androscoggin-Sagadahoc Extension Association ($47,742) and Androscoggin Valley Soil Conservation District ($13,000), originally scheduled for Wednesday, have been postponed until Aug. 26.

Funding for those 10 departments represented 12.2 percent of last year’s budget.

It is unclear what time the workshop will begin. The board will first hold a regular meeting at 5:15 p.m. in the Probate Courtroom at the County Courthouse. Items for discussion are the acceptance of the audited financial statement for the year ending Dec. 31, 2014, and a discussion with Emergency Management Director Joanne Potvin concerning the Homeland Security Grant.

Also scheduled before Wednesday’s budget workshop are two executive sessions. One of the sessions deals with the pending lawsuit filed by the county municipalities concerning the commissioners setting their own salaries and also allegedly approving the budget in violation of state law.

Executive sessions on litigation the past few meetings have all lasted more than an hour.

Future budget workshops are scheduled for Aug. 19 and Sept. 2. The commissioners’ own budget will be discussed Aug. 19, while the final session will include a presentation by the Sheriff’s Department.

Commissioners hope to finalize the county budget Tuesday, Sept. 8. The first meeting between the commissioners and the budget committee is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 30.

ssherlock@sunjournal.com

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