FARMINGTON — Franklin County commissioners unanimously agreed Tuesday to send the jail budget back to a committee to add funds for a generator while also approving $9 million in other spending for the next fiscal year.

Commissioners approved a $9 million budget for 2023-24, including nearly $2.9 million for the jail. Commissioners added $158,000 for a backup generator for the jail because the existing generator will not last much longer, officials said. The jail would not be able to run if there is no backup generator, Maj. Douglas Blauvelt and Sheriff Scott Nichols Sr. told the budget committee last month.

The committee did not add the amount for a generator to the jail budget last month because the vote failed in a 3-3 tie vote.

According to state statute, the Budget Advisory Committee, which is made up of three selectmen from each of three commission districts, has the final authority on setting county budgets. The commissioners start the process by sending their budgets to the committee for consideration. The committee can make revisions to those county and jail budgets, which then go back to commissioners. Commissioners then must approve each budget, or, if they want to make a change, they must vote unanimously to send the budget back to the committee with recommended changes. The committee would need a two-thirds majority to override the commissioners recommended changes. It the Budget Advisory Committee does not override the commissioners, then the commissioners’ budget recommendation would stand.

The Budget Advisory Committee submitted an overall budget plan of nearly $9.3 million.

Commissioners trimmed a 5% wage increase for most nonunion employees, which was added by the budget panel, back to the 3% commissioners had previously included in their budget.

But because of state statute, the committee’s spending plan will stand, except for the jail budget, which will be taken up at 6 p.m. Monday at the county courthouse.

The commissioners’ budget for county government is $780,652 more than the current budget. The budget committee’s plan reflects an increase of nearly $1.2 million. The amounts do not factor in anticipated revenue.

The commissioners’ jail budget amount represents an increase of $539,504 over the existing budget, while the budget panel’s proposal is $384,369 more. Revenue is not factored in to the budget numbers.

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