PARIS – The proposed $5.24 million Oxford County budget for 2009 is about $1 million less than this year, but that’s partly due to the jail no longer being included.

The $5.24 million in expenditures for 2009 compares to $6.22 million this year, but revenues are expected to drop from $2.08 million to $1.88 million. The new budget would require $4.59 million to be raised by taxes, 10.86 percent more than this year.

The 2009 jail expenditures and revenues are not included in the budget, but county taxpayers will still pay the tab. Under the new state jail plan, the jail will submit its budget to the Board of Corrections instead of the county commissioners and budget committee.

The jail’s budget is capped at $1.23 million. This year, it was $1.27 million, but it’s estimated to actually total $1.32 million by the end of the 2008 calendar year.

Sheriff Wayne Gallant said the Sheriff’s Office will have to justify any increases over the cap to the Board of Corrections.

The requested expenditures for the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office increased from $1.22 million to $1.35 million. Gallant said his salary was formerly split 50-50 between the jail and Sheriff’s Office budget, and must be paid entirely out of the Sheriff’s Office budget under the new plan.

Gallant said the department also plans to purchase four new cruisers this year to replace older vehicles.

The Sheriff’s Office is also projecting an increase in revenue from grants, from $96,919 to $195,800.

The Regional Communications Center budget includes $289,623 in expenditures from a federal communications grant that will go toward constructing a new tower in Hiram and improving county radios.

“That $289,623 is really just a pass-through,” said Commissioner David Duguay. “But if it comes through, it’s a revenue.”

Court security costs decreased from $56,174 to $8,000. Gallant said two court security officers are retiring and the budget does not include training costs.

“We’re turning that over to the state under their own judicial marshals as of Jan. 1,” Gallant said.

The remaining costs in the court security fund will pay for witness expenses for people who testify before the grand jury.

The projected budget also calls for an increase of capital reserve funds for the Oxford County Regional Airport from $10,000 to $50,000, as well as an increase in the airport’s regular maintenance fund from $33,000 to $40,000.

The funds will pay for maintenance and renovations at the airport including roof repair, mold cleanup and the removal of fuel lines. The money will also pay the county’s $37,266 share of an approximately $1.5 million Federal Aviation Administration project to improve the runway.

The budget will be reviewed by the three commissioners and the budget committee before it is finalized.


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