AUBURN — Commissioners have begun their four-week review of the 2019 Androscoggin County budget.

County administrator Larry Post released his $14.3 million preliminary budget without comment Wednesday. If passed without changes, the county budget will increase by 5.46 percent, a slight dip below the spending bump approved last fall.

The current 2018 county budget was increased by 5.56 percent, which was below the 6.44 percent jump in 2017.

Post included a letter in the introduction of the budget, asking commissioners to look at the long-term needs of the county instead of focusing on just next year. 

He wrote that the “budget continues to address a number of issues, from more being demanded of us, to continuing building improvements, bringing wages up, dealing with jail/state issues and needing to continue upgrading in a number of areas.”

During Wednesday’s meeting, commissioners reviewed the budgets from 10 departments, but took no action on any line in the budget.


District Attorney Andrew Robinson, Registrar of Deeds Tina Chouinard and Register of Probate Thomas Reynolds made budget presentations Wednesday.

While Robinson oversees five accounts, much of the focus was on his District Attorney account, which has a proposed increase of 9.19 percent. More than half of the $54,287 increase is for a new trial assistant needed, he said, because of  the huge increase in case loads his office is handling.

“Right now, my staff is drowning,” Robinson said.

The Registry of Deeds is only asking for a 1.09 percent increase. Every budget line stayed the same or was cut except salaries. Those increases are fixed due to contracts and step increases approved last year.

Reynolds is seeking a 6.16 percent increase. The biggest increase was for office furniture, including a new desk for himself, and new computers and software. He called the current computers and software “old.”

Three nonprofit groups also asked for funds from the county. The Androscoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District and the Androscoggin/Sagadahoc Extension Service asked for the same amount they received last year.


After two failed attempts, Western Maine Transportation Services was back seeking funding for the third straight year. Community Relations Director Craig Zurhorst stressed the importance of a regionalized transportation system throughout the county. Improved public transportation would aid in access to higher education, employment opportunities and health care services, he said. 

Franklin and Oxford counties already provide funding to WMTS.

If the county agrees to give $42,500 to WMTS, the organization would receive a federal match of more than $85,000.

Speaking in support of WMTS was Auburn City Manager Peter Crichton and Lewiston Deputy City Administrator Denis D’Auteuil.

Crichton spoke about the importance of changing the transportation model in the region to provide more services.

“Lewiston and Auburn can’t do this by themselves,” Crichton said.

Commissioners will hold two more budget workshops the next two weeks before holding a public hearing Sept. 5.

Any cuts to the preliminary budget will be made that night following the public hearing. The budget then goes to the county budget committee.

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.