FARMINGTON — Commissioners confirmed Tuesday that they would not fund social service agencies that were not funded through the Franklin County budget last year.

If requests from an agency or organization were funded through the county in the 2017-18 budget commissioners will accept requests, Chairman Charles Webster of Farmington said. Those agencies were put on notice last year that commissioners may reduce funding in 2018-19 as they try to ratchet down spending, Webster said.

The Franklin County Budget Advisory Committee has the final say, he said. 

Jay’s valuation continues to decrease because of the Verso Androscoggin Mill’s valuation decreasing. That means Jay’s share of the county taxes is also decreasing, he said. 

Not funded in the current budget are: Franklin County Adult Basic Education, Greater Franklin Development Council, Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Services and Androscoggin Home Care and Hospice.

Funded at reduced amounts were Franklin County Children’s Task Force, $5,000; Western Maine Transportation, $7,500; Western Maine Community Action, $20,000; SeniorsPlus, $10,000; and Franklin County Soil and Water Conservation District, $20,000.


Commissioners answered questions on their position on funding program grants proposed by Stephan Bunker, a Farmington selectman who said he was not asked by the board to attend the commissioners meeting. 

The Farmington board is in the final stages of the budget process for 2018, which will go to voters in March, Bunker said. 

Bunker said many of the agencies were notified too late in 2017 about the commissioners’ position on funding program grants.

Many towns in the county hold annual town meetings in March and April.

Webster said a letter was sent to the agencies in January 2017 to notify representatives of the  possibility of not getting funded or having funding reduced, Webster said.

Clerk Julie Magoon said she will send out a letter again to the organizations that were affected.  


Commissioner Clyde Barker of Strong disagreed with Webster and Commissioner Terry Brann’s position on funding and decreasing funding to the agencies. Barker said he “strongly supports” funding several of them, including Western Maine Transportation and Western Maine Community Action.

District 3 needs those services, he said. 

District 3 includes Avon, Carrabassett Valley, Coplin Plantation, Dallas Plantation, Eustis, Industry, New Vineyard, Phillips, Strong, Rangeley and Weld. A full list of towns each commission district represents can be found at

Brann said he received a phone call from a person supporting services. He told that person if they really believed in it to write a check to the organization. 

“I don’t think we should mandate taxpayers to pay for something they may not believe in,” Brann said.

In some cases it may be too late for agency requests.


Jay sent letters to local organizations the town funded in 2016, except Western Maine Veterans. Organizations included the Jay Historical Society and North Jay Grange. Those groups were not funded in 2017.

Jay begins budget talks Monday, Jan. 22.


Franklin County Commissioner Charles Webster of Farmington, center, was re-elected chairman Tuesday at the first meeting of 2018. Commissioner Terry Brann of Wilton is at left and Commissioner Clyde Barker of Strong is at right. (Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal)

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.