FARMINGTON — Franklin County commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to deduct $50,000 from the state Board of Corrections request of $365,288 for the first half of a 2014-15 major mission change payment.

Commissioners decided to pay $315,288 for the first payment. The same amount was paid last year in two equal payments for a total of $630,576.

The decision followed a motion by Commissioner Gary McGrane of Jay to pay the full $365,288, which died for lack of second.

The county is expected to be billed by the Board of Corrections for $730,576 for the year.

In June, the Board of Corrections requested Sheriff Scott Nichols Sr. to send in $100,000 in additional funds after the board learned the county had approximately $447,000 in surplus. Nichols and Commission Chairman Fred Hardy of New Sharon refused. The county is allowed to build a surplus under the law, according to Nichols and Hardy.

Commissioners set up $210,000 of the surplus in July in reserve accounts that included money to replace the jail roof.


The county raises $1.62 million in taxes annually to run the jail. It costs approximately $1 million to operate the jail and the remaining $600,000 is sent to the state to help other jails.

It is a cap developed by the state in 2008 when the county jail system consolidated. On July 1, 2009, the Franklin County Jail went from a fully -operational jail to a 72-hour holding facility.

After Nichols and Hardy told the Board of Corrections that they wouldn’t send in the extra $100,000, the BOC cut the county jail budget by $100,000. The state had the county submit a new budget representing $100,000 less, that several county officials say will not be enough to run the jail until June 30, 2015.

If the county runs out of money for the jail in the current fiscal year, the county’s auditor has recommended that the county ask the board for the money to get through the year, County Clerk Julie Magoon said Tuesday.

McGrane said the county should pay the whole amount the Board of Corrections requested to help get the system out of a deficit.

He voiced his concerns over the state shutting down the Franklin County Jail if the county doesn’t play by the state’s rules and pay the money.


“If you don’t like the rules and you don’t like the law,” you have to move forward to change the rules, McGrane said.

A law that went into effect earlier this year gave the Board of Corrections more oversight of the consolidated jail system.

“I don’t think this county should be the only one to give” more money, Commissioner Clyde Barker said.

Franklin is the only jail out of the three that had missions changed to be asked to ante up more funds. Several other jail systems that receive state funds for the jails had funding reduced for operational support funds.

Kennebec County was expected to receive $79,689 less for a total of $572,445. Somerset County was also expected to see a decrease of $280,441 to bring the amount it would receive to $841,326. Androscoggin and Oxford counties funding remained the same.

When Barker made the motion to deduct $50,000 from the Board of Corrections request, it was seconded by McGrane.

Before a vote was taken, McGrane asked Hardy what he proposed to do with the $50,000 or $100,000.

“Keep it,” Hardy said. The surplus money can only be used for corrections.

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