AUBURN — The Androscoggin County Budget Committee elected Auburn City Manager Phillip Crowell as chairman at its first meeting Wednesday.

Sabattus Selectman Noel Hinkley was chosen vice chairman during the 18-minute meeting.

The committee is filled with mostly new faces following this year’s election for three-year terms. Only four of the 14 members return — Crowell, Larry Pelletier of Auburn, Selectman Kevin Nichols of Turner and Selectman Lisa Cesare of Minot.

Interim County Administrator Clarice Proctor, who is county treasurer, provided the committee with a snapshot of the proposed $17.3 million budget. Expenditures are increasing 9.11%, while overall revenues are projected to rise by 11.3%.

The overall budget, as presented to the committee, will raise the amount needed for taxation by 8.24%. Commissioners had reduced that number by nearly $125,000 from 9.33%.

Hurting this year’s budget, Proctor said, was a reduction in state funding for the Androscoggin County Jail and a much smaller tax cap due to legislation passed earlier this year by the Legislature.


To help relieve the tax burden, commissioners moved $557,658 in spending to the American Rescue Plan Act funds, covering mostly capital expenditures and other one-time costs, such as vehicles and furniture.

“As you review the budget, please look at the needs of the county in the long term instead of just this year,” Proctor said.

She noted that the fund balance is less than $1 million, far below optimal levels, and the county reserves are depleted.

A total of 11 members attended the first meeting. Robert Reed of Lewiston was absent, while two vacancies remain on the committee.

The committee will begin its work Wednesday at 6 p.m. in courtroom No. 2 on the second floor of the courthouse.

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