AUGUSTA — Kennebec County administrators are hosting a public hearing tonight on the proposed 2012–13 budget, which is less than 1 percent higher than this year.

The hearing is at 6 p.m. in the first-floor conference room at Hill House, 125 State St., Augusta.

Assistant County Administrator Terry York said the budget is $10.6 million. That’s about $70,000 over this year’s budget of $10.5 million.

But County Administrator Bob Devlin said the county has to absorb a $150,000 reduction in revenue from the registry of deeds, resulting from a cap on copy fees.

As a result, assessments on towns will rise nearly $300,000, to $9.3 million, to support the 2012–13 budget.

York said the biggest increase in the budget is $140,000 more for the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office.

Much of that increase is due to salaries mandated by contract, but the office also has budgeted an additional $30,000 for cruisers. The vehicles the Sheriff’s Office bought in the past are no longer being made, which forced the county to buy different makes and models.

“The equipment that we were (usually) able to transfer does not fit the new make and model,” York said. “We have to fully equip the new cars.”

Administrators cu nearly $53,000 from other areas of the budget, including $43,000 in benefits.

This story was updated at 4:15 p.m., to correct information about the Sheriff’s Office budget.

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