PARIS — County commissioners Tuesday approved a 2011-12 budget for the county’s unorganized territories that requests a municipal tax commitment hike of 54 percent over this year’s budget.

It’s a steep rise, county Administrator Scott Cole said, but necessary to update roads in Albany Township that he said have been mostly neglected for years.

Much of the money will go to pay for road and bridge repairs that are expected to go $165,000 over budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year, and for the $222,000 road budget which is about 20 percent higher than last year’s.

The main roadways through Albany Township are overseen by the state, but Cole said nearly 30 miles are the county’s responsibility. He said those roads have been crumbling apart in recent years and the county contracted the firms of D.A. Wilson and Co. of Bethel, and Wilson Excavating Inc. of Waterford for repair work.

Unorganized territories pay taxes into a general, statewide fund that oversees territories in all nine counties that have them. By Maine law, county commissioners contract services in their unorganized territories and submit budgets to the state tax assessor.

Commissioners are authorized to contract services for the roads, bridges, polling places, fire protection, law enforcement and other needs of the unorganized territories.

The 54 percent increase in tax commitment, if approved by the state tax assessor, will be distributed among all other unorganized territories in the state. That means the rise in taxes should be far lower than Oxford County’s increased demand, unless other counties have asked for significantly higher commitments for their unorganized territories.

The 9 a.m. commissioners’ meeting began with a public hearing for residents of unorganized territories who wanted to comment, but no one attended. Commissioners unanimously passed the budget as written. It totals $657,823.

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