AUBURN — The Androscoggin County Budget Committee held a brief meeting Wednesday to elect officers and to hear a presentation on the budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year.

Nine of the 14 members attended the meeting, providing enough for a quorum to complete the housekeeping duties of electing officers and to accept a schedule of meetings to consider the $15.6 million county budget.

Alicea Rea of Lewiston was elected chairwoman and Allen Ward of Lisbon was selected as vice chairman. Both votes were unanimous.

County Administrator Larry Post provided the committee with an overview of the proposed budget, which commissioners ratified last week. That meeting lasted more than six hours and resulted with commissioners cutting more than $148,000 from the amount requested by department heads.

Combined with adding $150,000 from the fund balance and $50,000 from reserves above what Post had recommended, commissioners proposed a budget increase of 0.5%.

Expenditures are up by 3.45% over last year, while revenues are projected to increase by 10.94%.


A couple of Budget Committee members who attended that long commissioners meeting last week praised the board for making difficult and substantial cuts to the budget.

During his presentation to the Budget Committee, Post said every department submitted a responsible spending plan. He noted that a grant will help pay for two patrol deputies, but the county must pay for 25% of the salaries and benefits and all of the health insurance.

He added that the aging building needs work in several areas. To help pay for capital improvements needed for the heating, ventilation, air and electrical systems, the county will likely request a bond package in the next few months.

A potential bond request was delayed in April due to the pandemic.

The Budget Committee will dive into the budget for the next three weeks, starting Wednesday, Sept. 16, by reviewing each department as voted on by commissioners. The committee hopes to approve the county budget by Sept. 30 for a public hearing on Oct. 21. Commissioners are expected to ratify the final budget by Nov. 4.

After a roll call early in Wednesday’s meeting, Budget Committee member Kiernan Majerus-Collins of Lewiston asked the chairperson to enforce masks being worn by everyone in attendance.

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.