FARMINGTON — The Franklin County commissioners will hold a public hearing next week on a proposed $1.35 million budget for 2020-21 for the unorganized territory.

The hearing has been scheduled for 10 a.m. on Dec. 3 at the county courthouse on Main Street.

If commissioners approve the proposal following the hearing, it will be sent to the state unorganized fiscal administrator for review. From there, it would go the state Legislature for consideration of approval.

The budget would go into effect July 1, 2020.

After revenues are factored into the proposed spending package, the tax assessment for the territory would be $1.18 million, according to county Clerks Julie Magoon’s information.

Without factoring in revenues total spending is $186,822 more than the current budget of $1.16 million. The tax assessment for existing budget after factoring in revenues is $976,795.


The bulk of the increase is attributed to the proposed budget of $111,000 for a new deputy position and cruiser to patrol the unorganized territory.

The county and Maine State Police are not doing call sharing the way it once existed in previous years with one agency taking the northern part of the county and the other agency taking the southern section. The agencies switched sections each week on Sunday.

Franklin County Sheriff Scott Nichols Sr. is proposing the position.

State Police are still busy, he said. The two agencies are working more cooperatively and working together, he said.

“It is working perfect,” Nichols said. “We are hoping that the state will allow us to fund the extra position to help us cover the unorganized territory.”

The amount would be less in the following year because there would not be a need to buy a cruiser. The Sheriff’s Office has nine patrol deputies and two detectives and four command staff.

It is the second time Nichols has requested the position. It was rejected in 2016 by former Commissioner Gary McGrane of Jay and current Commissioner Charles Webster of Farmington. Commissioner Clyde Barker of Strong was in favor of adding the position. His district covers the majority of territory.

In the portion of the budget for snow removal, the proposed amount $545,324 reflects an increase of $49,473. The increase is due to a new contract for the West Freeman section of Freeman Township. The contractor who held the contract for 2019-20 for $37,500 did not want to renew it. A Kingfield company that holds the contract for snow removal in Freeman and Salem townships at a cost of $295,480, signed a separate new contract earlier this year to do snow removal for the West Freeman section for $86,973. The Kingfield company previously had the contract for all of Freeman Township and Salem Township, but commissioners split the contract last year and made the West Freeman section a separate contract.

Prior to approving the new contract, Webster said it was a mistake to split the contract.

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