Franklin County budget panel sets dates for budget review

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FARMINGTON — A Franklin County budget panel has scheduled four days in May to discuss a commissioners’ preliminary budget for 2018-19, hold a public hearing and a final vote.

Commissioners have not voted on a personnel portion of the budget because county Clerk Julie Magoon is still waiting for information, she said Wednesday. 

A bottom line, therefore, has not been tallied.

Commissioners did make some changes to program grant requests when they reviewed program grants in the budget April 17 and 18.

Commissioners voted 2-1 to reduce grant requests from Western Maine Transportation services to $3,750 from $10,500 and Western Maine Community Action to $10,000 from $30,000, county Financial Manager Vickie Braley said.

Chairman Charles Webster of Farmington and Commissioner Terry Brann of Wilton were in favor of the reductions to Western Maine Transportation and Community Action while Commissioner Clyde Barker of Strong opposed.

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All three commissioners approved a reduction for SeniorsPlus to $5,000 from $30,000, according to Braley.

The three agencies were funded in the current budget at $7,500, $20,000 and $10,000, respectively.

Commissioners approved leaving requests from Franklin County Soil and Water Conservation District at $20,000 and Franklin County Firemen’s Association at $3,700, Braley said.

Barker also opposed reducing the request from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Service in Franklin County by $1,268, bringing it to $50,000. Brann and Webster supported the decrease.

The county Budget Advisory Committee, which has the final say on funding, is scheduled to meet May 3 and May 10 to review the budget proposal at the Commissioners Office at the Franklin County Courthouse.

A public hearing is scheduled on the proposed budget for 6 p.m. May 24 at the courthouse, and a final vote is scheduled for May 31, also at the courthouse.

The budget proposal will then go back to commissioners. 

Any changes they seek to make to the advisory panel’s budget will require a unanimous vote of county commissioners. If the adopted budget is changed by  commissioners, the budget committee can overturn the change by a two-thirds vote of its nine-member panel. Those actions are final and are not subject to further action by either the commissioners or the committee.

The budget panel is made up of nine selectmen from each of the three districts in the county, who were elected by fellow selectmen.

dperry@sunmediagroup.net

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