AUBURN — The Androscoggin County Budget Committee came with sharpened pencils Wednesday for its  first review of the 2019 county budget.

Reviewing only part of the budget during its first of three scheduled meetings, the panel voted to cut $11,650 from $14.4 million spending plan.

By contrast, county commissioners had only cut $500 from the entire budget before sending it to the committee.

The majority of the cuts made Wednesday will be permanent because many passed by a super-majority of at least 11 votes on the 14-member panel, as dictated in the County Charter.

Any cut passed with less than 11 in the majority is a recommendation for the commissioners to consider before adopting the final budget.

Vice Chairman Allen Ward of Lisbon and Andrew Titus of Auburn led the questioning of department heads on why certain accounts should be funded, especially when little or no money in those accounts was spent the past few years.


Ward and Titus proposed most of the cuts that were considered. The budget committee did not reject any proposed cut.

The deepest cut made Wednesday was $7,000 from the commissioners’ account.

The panel voted 12-0 to cut $5,000 from the $20,000 requested for legal fees. The legal fees were budgeted as high as $60,000 in 2017, but the county has spent virtually no money on legal fees in the past two years. Ward thought $5,000 could easily be cut, but county Administrator Larry Post was apprehensive about losing the amount that the panel unanimously supported. 

The committee also reduced the commissioners’ telephone account by $500 by a 12-0 vote. The final $1,500 was deducted from secretarial services by a 10-2 vote.

The Emergency Management Agency saw its $209,000 budget cut by $1,500; $1,000 from the building repairs line and $500 from fuel. EMA Director Joanne Potvin agreed with both cuts.

Tony Reny of Greene moved to cut $3,000 from witness fees in the Superior Court account of the District Attorney’s budget, which passed unanimously.


Seeing no money has been spent out of the repairs, equipment account in the treasurer’s budget during the past two years, despite being budgeted $3000 each year, the panel cut that amount in half for 2019.

The committee will hold budget review sessions the next two weeks, before holding a public hearing Nov. 1, when it makes its final recommendations to the commissioners.

The commissioners are scheduled to approve next year’s budget on Nov. 14.

Androscoggin County Building in Auburn. 

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