AUBURN — Uncertain on when it will actually receive jail funding from the state,  the Androscoggin County Commission voted Wednesday to issue a county tax-anticipation note for up to $1 million to cover any potential cash shortfall.

The note, sold to Androscoggin Bank, has a interest rate of 2.95 percent per year. While the note will be dated July 20, 2018, and mature on Dec, 28, 2018, county treasurer Clarice Proctor said the note would likely only be needed for six to eight weeks until municipalities start sending in county taxes, usually in September.

In a worst-case scenario, she anticipates it will cost the county less than $9,000 in interest.

The potential funding crisis was caused when the Legislature ended the 2018 session in May with numerous spending bills still in limbo, including jail funding.

After the Legislature finally approved money for the jails, Gov. Paul LePage vetoed the measures. The Legislature overrode the vetoes this month.

The question now, county Administrator Larry Post said, is when will the state actually send the money to the counties. Two years ago, the counties received the money for the jails by early- to mid-July, Post said. Last year, the county saw no money until mid-August.

Commissioners Melissa Willette and Isaiah Lary voted against the tax-anticipation note, which passed 4-2. Noel Madore was absent.

In other business Chairman Zakk Maher officially resigned from the commission. Maher, who represents Poland, Mechanic Falls and part of Auburn, resigned to accept the town manager’s position in Minot.

“I’m incredibly going to miss this group of people,” Maher said in closing remarks to the board.

The Libertarian Party, which Maher belongs to, has 30 days to name a replacement.

Commissioners tabled deciding which commissioners would replace Maher on the three boards that he serves on — The Maine County Commission Association, Rick Pool and the Central and Western Maine Workforce Board.

Commissioners also adopted a lease agreement with iTech Solutions Group LLC of Danbury, Connecticut, for a server in the Register of Deeds office. Registrar Tina Chouinard said the new agreement would allow the county to utilize the same operating system.

“It’s the best match financially and for compatibility,” Chouinard said.

The lease contract calls for the county paying $834.31 per month for five years.

Sheriff Eric Samson presented bids for ammunition. Commissioners approved spending $5,037.10 with Eagle Point Gun, T.J. Morris & Son and $660 from AAA Police Supply.

Commissioners also approved the Androscoggin County Hazard Mitigation Plan. The five-year plan, prepared by the county Emergency Management Agency, is used to determine which projects receive hazard mitigation grants from FEMA.


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