SKOWHEGAN — Municipal officials from all 33 Somerset County towns and plantations next week will select the county’s first Budget Committee members under the new county charter.

“There will be two members from each of the five districts, as opposed to previously, when there were three members from each of the three districts,” County Administrator Larry Post said. “One has to be an officer — a selectman or a town councilor — and the other can be an official, such as a town clerk or a town manager.”

County voters agreed to having five districts instead of three during elections in November. Two new county commissioners also were elected, bringing that number to five as well. The Somerset County charter was approved by voters in 2010.

Post said this year is the first year of the charter changes. He said all 10 members of the Budget Committee will be selected during the caucuses at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15, in the commissioners’ chambers at the county courthouse.

Only town selectmen or town council members can vote. Terms of office on the Budget Committee will be staggered to begin with, then become three-year terms, according to Post.

The current Somerset County budget, which expires June 30, is $4.9 million, plus $2.6 million for debt service on the new county jail. The operating budget to run the jail is $4.8 million. The state Board of Corrections sets the budget for jail operations after being approved by the Board of Somerset County Commissioners.

Post said with revenues from fees for services, the total to be paid by the towns of Somerset County is roughly $11 million in the current budget. Assessments for county taxes for each town are based on the towns’ state valuations.

Post said it is important for each of the towns and plantations to have a presence at the Feb. 15 county Budget Committee meeting. All candidates for the committee must be present for the meeting or send a letter stating they are willing to serve if nominated.

Municipal officers also will be asked on Feb. 15 to choose members for the Board of Directors of the Somerset Economic Development Corp.

Voting will be for current members whose terms have expired and for new members from the new county commissioners’ districts.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. 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.