AUBURN — The Androscoggin County Commission began its review Wednesday of the 2024 county budget.

The $18.6 million proposal is 7.39% more than last year, according to Administrator Clarice Proctor. That’s an increase of $1.28 million.

“This budget includes pay increases from two union collective bargaining agreements and a 2.3% cost-of-living adjustment for general government employees,” Proctor said. “Both are necessary to maintain and attract employees while maintaining operations without major changes.”

The entire increase is on the county side. The state Legislature flat funded the county jail part of the budget. With the exception of a few tweaks, expenditures and revenues are the same as last year.

“There are operational changes made to keep the expenses in compliance with state regulations,” Proctor said.

The county is not allowed to raise taxes to cover jail expenses.


With no American Rescue Plan Act money available, all capital expenditures are included in the 2024 budget, Proctor said.

Revenues are 11.33% lower than last year because there are no reserve funds or enough money in the fund balance to be used to lower the tax rate.

“As you review this budget, please look at the needs of the county in the long term,” Proctor said. “Our fund balance is not at a level it should be, and reserves are completely depleted. According to the county’s Fund Balance Policy, we should reach and maintain a fund balance equal to 20% of operating expenditures. We will need to grow reserves, increase the fund balance and continue to offer our citizens the best services possible.”

Commissioners heard from department heads and directors from two nonprofits requesting funding.

District Attorney Neil McLean Jr. is asking for $671,229, a 19.85% increase in his budget, with much of that coming from salaries and wages.

Commissioner Garrett Mason of Lisbon said it is imperative that the DA’s office work to lower the backlog of cases. He wondered if there is more grant money available from the Victim/Witness Advocate Grant. The county is expecting to receive $55,000 in the next fiscal year.


McLean said he would look into it.

Commissioners also heard budget presentations covering the Registry of Probate, Audit, Androscoggin Valley Soil and Water Conservation District and Western Maine Transportation Services.

The board made no cuts Wednesday.

Meetings will be held Aug. 30 and Sept. 6, followed by a public hearting Sept. 13 when the commissioners are scheduled to finalize the preliminary budget.

The Budget Committee will get its first look at the spending plan Sept. 20.

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