FARMINGTON — The Franklin County Budget Advisory Committee failed Thursday to override the commissioners’ proposal to fund the Greater Franklin County Development Council at $42,000.

A motion to fund it at the commissioners’ proposal failed in a 4-4 vote. An override would have required a minimum of six votes from the nine-member committee.

An attempt to make another motion for a different amount was nixed when committee member Tim DeMillo, a selectperson from Jay, pointed out that it was over. Budget panel member Mike Pond, a selectman from Strong, said DeMillo was correct.

According to state statute governing the Franklin County budget process, if the budget panel’s adopted budget of $6.1 million is changed by the county commissioners, the advisory committee may reject that change by a two-thirds vote of its membership. Those actions are final and are not subject to further action by either the county commissioners or the advisory committee.

The commissioners’ proposal stands at $42,000 for the development council.

The advisory committee had voted in June to fund the council at $20,000, with $10,000 of it coming from the tax-increment finance agreement the county has with TransCanada Maine Wind Development. The company has a 44-turbine wind energy facility in Kibby and Skinner townships in northern Franklin County.


Now $21,000 will come from county taxation and $21,000 from the TIF.

The budget panel did have the votes to override the commissioners’ attempt to fund the Tri-County Mental Health Agency at $5,000. The budget committee had funded it at zero in June and that amount stood. The agency had requested $20,000.

The committee also had a majority vote to override the commissioners’ proposal to fund Western Maine Community Action at $33,000, letting the $30,000 the committee approved last month go through.

The Budget Advisory Committee did approve the commissioners’ proposal to reduce the Sheriff’s Office budget by $16,542.

The savings came from a newly negotiated contract with the Fraternal Order of Police that covers patrol deputies. The union took a less-costly health insurance as part of the bargaining agreement.

The budget for the county for 2016-17 is $6.1 million, about $300,000 more than last year. The bulk of the increase comes from the $1.89 million jail budget.

It was Avon Selectman John Calloway’s final meeting as chairman of the advisory committee. He previously resigned the chairmanship, effective when the budget process was over. He will remain on the committee.

Calloway said Thursday night that committee member Ray Gaudette, a selectman from Phillips, was elected chairman until April 2017.

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