AUBURN — Two outside organizations not currently funded by Androscoggin County are seeking a piece of the 2018 budget pie.

Western Maine Transportation Services and Time & Tide Resource Conservation and Development Area each presented budget proposals to the commissioners during Wednesday’s budget review. It was the second of three meetings planned to review the proposed budget.

Denied funding a year ago, WMTS returned seeking the same $42,500 it asked for last year. It provides on-demand bus services to any resident of Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties.

The transportation service made more than 87,000 trips in Androscoggin County in the past year that covered more than 337,000 miles, according to Craig Zurhorst, community relations director for WMTS.

WMTS receives funding from Franklin and Oxford counties.

Zurhorst told commissioners that there is “pent-up demand for bus service.” Its buses and minivans provide rides for medical appointments, shopping and other needs. Two areas Zurhorst has seen an increase in demand are rides for employment and educational opportunities.

Like last year, commissioners appeared sympathetic to the needs of WMTS, but it is still unclear if the group will receive any funding.

Time & Tide, which provides services to individuals, groups and nonprofits seeking grassroot projects, is asking for $3,750 from the county. The organization has partnered with schools and the Androscoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District. In the past couple of years, the group has worked with the Lisbon School District and the N.K. Lewis Center in Auburn.

Commissioners also heard budget presentations from:

• Probate — $163,148, an 8.4 percent increase;

• Deeds — $182,843,  a 2.4 percent increase;

• Androscoggin-Sagadahoc Extension Association — $49,557, same as last year;

• Androscoggin Valley Soil Conservation District — $14,000, same as last year;

• Auditing — $14,500, an 11.5 percent increase;

• Interest — $44,138, same as last year;

• Employee benefits — $1,978,000, a 9.9 percent increase;

• Insurance — $130,000, a 19.6 percent increase; and

• Contingency — $100,000, same as last year.

The budget, as proposed, would raise the county tax rate by 6.0 percent.

Commissioners will hold their final budget review next Wednesday at 5:15 p.m. in the county courthouse. That session will feature he sheriff’s budget, including the jails and the support of prisoners.

A public hearing is expected to be held Wednesday, Sept. 6, when commissioners will also finalize the preliminary budget. The first meeting of the Budget Committee is scheduled for Sept. 20.

In other business, commissioners accepted $12,408.75 for a civil forfeiture in a drug trafficking case.

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Androscoggin County Building in Auburn. 

Androscoggin County Building in Auburn. 

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