Franklin Countys First News

Commissioners approve $1.13 million Unorganized Territory budget

FARMINGTON - Franklin County commissioners approved a $1.13 million budget for the 2018-19 Unorganized Territory budget Tuesday morning, as well as the hiring of two new deputies and the purchase of a police cruiser.

The U.T. budget represents a $78,000 increase over the current fiscal year's expenditures, but a decrease of $28,000 as compared to the previous fiscal year. The budget is primarily funded through a proposed $954,000 assessment on U.T. residents, as well as excise taxes, state road money and some other miscellaneous revenue.

Increases include a $66,000 increase in the funding for snow removal contracts, as three of those four contracts, typically five years in length, are up for renewal this year. A total of $15,000 will be raised for the E911 official, with the reserve for E911 increasing by $5,000. New regulations require that every building have an E911 designation; previously, only buildings with landlines in the U.T. were required to have that designation. That change will require approximately six months of work on the part of Franklin County's E911 official.

The budget also includes $15,000 to put a new decking on the Spruce Nubble Crossing bridge. That bridge's wooden decking, which is rotting, will be replaced with a concrete slabs. Unlike wood planking, which lasts between 10 and 15 years, the concrete planks are expected to last 60 to 70 years, at approximately the same cost.

Several other cost centers, such as waste disposal and fire protection expenditures to organized towns that provide those services to the U.T., are down slightly this year. Salem Fire Department, the only department funded entirely by the county, is also down slightly, to $23,913.

Commissioners also approved the hiring of two new people at the Franklin County Sheriff's Office: Allan Elmes of Rangeley and David Duval of Gray. Approval is dependent upon administration of a polygraph test and psychological screening.

Commissioners approved the purchase of a 2018 Ford Interceptor from Bailey Brothers in Livermore Falls at the cost of $22,785 after the trade-in of a 2015 vehicle. That vehicle has served as a backup unit since it developed a series of issues that resulted in it losing power while in operation. The 2015 vehicle is beyond its warranty, with 78,000 miles, and its computer has not returned any code to indicate what the issue is.

The funds for the new vehicle will come out of the federal Stonegarden grant, which provides money to patrol routes near U.S. borders.

Commissioners decided to match the Maine District Court system and give non-union employees half a day off on Friday, Dec. 22, the last workday prior to Christmas. The courthouse will be closed at noon on Dec. 22 and for Monday, Dec. 25 for Christmas.

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2 Responses »

  1. i see no mention of wind tower monies being used for any/all increases. any information on this?

  2. The TIF funds aren't utilized in the U.T. operating budget; commissioners approve TIF expenditures separately.