AUBURN — The Androscoggin County Commission approved a request Wednesday from County Treasurer Robert Poulin to increase the county’s tax anticipation note by $500,000 to cover employees’ salaries in case of a potential cash shortage.

The reason for the potential shortfall is the failure of the state to pay the money it owes for the county jails. That check is nearly a month late.

Androscoggin County is due more than $1.2 million from the state. Last year, the county received its funding in July. The county has not received any word from the state as to when the check will arrive, Poulin said.

“My first priority is to make sure the county employees get paid,” Poulin said. “I want to play it safe and not jeopardize our workers.”

Poulin was uncertain whether the county would receive its check in one lump sum like last year, or if it would be made in four quarterly payments as in previous years.

No county had received its state funding as of Wednesday, Poulin said.

Androscoggin County took out a $5 million tax anticipation note through Androscoggin Bank in January to cover its expenditures. The vast majority of the county’s revenues is funded through taxes assessed to the 14 municipalities.

With those payments due to start arriving in September, Poulin said the increase would easily cover the county’s payroll in the interim.

The additional $500,000 on the note will not cost the county any extra money unless the county has to draw money from it if the state’s funding for the jails is further delayed.

In other business, commissioners approved a new job description for the county’s information technology director. The position has been vacant for roughly a month since the departure of David Parker.

A search for his replacement is ongoing, said County Administrator Larry Post, who said his office received more than two dozen applications. 

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