AUBURN — The Androscoggin County Budget Committee dove right in Wednesday and began paring down the 2017 county budget at its first meeting.

With three new members and three vacancies on the 14-member board, the Budget Committee reviewed funding for the Emergency Management Agency and the five departments overseen by District Attorney Andrew Robinson.

The board cut a modest $600 from those six departments, which make up 7.3 percent of the total $13.2 million budget proposed by the county commissioners.

The District Attorney’s Joint Budget had $500 cut from printing and reproducing, a 50 percent reduction in that account. The board also cut $100 from the EMA’s postage account.

All votes were 11-0 except for the final passage of the EMA and District Attorney budgets, which passed 10-1 with Auburn City Councilor Andrew Titus voting no.

The largest part of Emergency Management Agency increase is a capital outlay of more than $6,800 to replace the outdated telephone system in the emergency operations center, which dates back to 2003. According to Director Joanne Potvin, several of the existing phones do not work and parts to repair them are no longer available.


Federal matching funds, based on what the EMA spends, will provide the county with roughly $142,000, Potvin said.

The District Attorney’s office has requested changing the status of a part-time employee to full time and adding a pair of interns to help the staff cover the increased demands.

All seven county commissioners attended the meeting. County Commission Chairman Ronald Chicoine told the Budget Committee that commissioners “will try to attend as many meetings as possible.”

With the exception of presenting the budget, commissioners did not attend last year’s Budget Committee meetings.

Before reviewing the budget, the Budget Committee elected Lewiston City Councilor Michael Lachance as chairman and Poland resident Norman Beauparlant as vice chairman.

Lachance announced that Wade Caplinger of Durham resigned from the Budget Committee, leaving three vacancies. In addition to Caplinger’s seat from District 3, which represents Durham, Greene and part of Lewiston, vacancies exist in District 5, which include part of Auburn, and District 7, which includes Leeds, Livermore, Livermore Falls, Minot and Turner.

The Budget Committee will meet at 6 p.m. every Wednesday for the next four weeks to review and adjust the budget before holding a public hearing, tentatively scheduled for Nov. 9.

The commissioners’ budget, if passed with no cuts, would raise county taxes by 7.11 percent.

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