FARMINGTON — Franklin County commissioners voted 2-1 Tuesday to approve a $5.65 million budget for 2014-15. Chairman Fred Hardy of New Sharon voted against it.

The budget is $13,947 more than what the Franklin County Budget Advisory Committee approved June 18. The additional money is for the county’s 25 percent share of a restitution specialist who works for the prosecutorial district that serves Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties. The district attorney has offices in the three counties but the specialist is based in Androscoggin County.

The budget panel did not add the money for the specialist because the request came in after commissioners had made their recommendation.

Deputy District Attorney Andrew Robinson said the specialist collects the money that is owed for restitution and disperses it to the people in the counties who are owed restitution. The person also writes up all the motions to the court in regards to people who were ordered to pay but do not. The specialist also collects all of the supervision fees, among other tasks, he said.

The position was formerly paid for through a federal grant but it was not renewed in the summer of 2013, Robinson said.

Another issue was that Androscoggin and Oxford counties work on a Jan. 1 through Dec. 31 budget year and Franklin County is on a July 1 through June 30 year, and Franklin County’s budget time frame was missed, he said.

Hardy said he initially looked at seeing if someone from Franklin County could handle the restitution service but was pretty well convinced that the county could not do it and save money.

Commissioners voted unanimously to add the specialist.

The money requested will now go back to the Budget Committee to reconsider at 5 p.m. Thursday, June 26, at the county courthouse.

Commissioners also voted 2-1, with Gary McGrane opposed, to restore the Greater Franklin Development Corp.’s request to $60,000. The Budget Committee reduced it to $50,000.

The mixed vote prevents the budget panel from reconsidering it. It would have had to have the commissioners’ unanimous support to go back before the committee.

Some budget panel members want the agency to be self-sustaining and off the county’s program grants.

“I certainly cannot go along with this,” Hardy, who is on the corporation’s board, said of the budget panel’s amount.

Commissioner Clyde Barker of Strong said he recommended they stick to the $60,000.

There is a lot going on behind the scenes that cannot be discussed in public, Barker and Hardy said.

Hardy named some businesses that the organization helped bring to the county along with jobs, including Comfort Inn and Suites in Wilton, Poland Spring Water Co.’s bottling plant in Kingfield and NotifyMD in Farmington.

It is worthwhile to keep, Hardy said.

Some budget panel members said previously they want to see more results with more focus on smaller businesses.

McGrane said he did not disagree with fellow commissioners.

When the group initially asked to be taken out of the county portion of the budget and put in to the program grants, members said they planned to reduce their dependence on the county for money, McGrane said.

“I think it is time the Greater Franklin County Development Corp. wean itself from the county,” he said.

Barker said Executive Director Alison Hagerstrom explained at a meeting that businesses and outside agencies are not giving as much to the organization.

Hardy said that Greater Franklin County Development Corp. and its economic development function is important to the county.

“I think it is worth saving,” he said.

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