LEWISTON —Rising numbers of asylum seekers are putting such a strain on the city budget that Mayor Robert Macdonald spoke Friday with Gov. Paul LePage about what could be done to help.

Macdonald, who could not be reached for comment, told Maine Public that the city has the number of asylum seekers more than double in the past couple of years to nearly 200.

“We’re being overrun by these people,” MacDonald told Maine Public. “It’s just unbelievable. And the money we’re having to spend is just phenomenal.”

Macdonald sought the session to talk to the governor about his concerns that Lewiston taxpayers are “footing the bill for immigration-related expenses that are not reimbursed,” according to LePage’s office.

LePage planned to be in Auburn on Friday for “a private family matter” and managed to squeeze in the meeting with Macdonald.

The city agreed last fall to hire two additional staffers to help cope with the increasing strain on the workers trying to help refugees.

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