SKOWHEGAN — Somerset County commissioners approved the county budget for 2013-14 Wednesday, with just one change to the original draft submitted by the Budget Committee.

The total budget of $11,121,622 is $596,337 lower than the spending package that expires June 30.

The 10-member county Budget Committee reviewed the budget during recent weeks and approved the final budget on June 11.

During their deliberations, the committee added $1,450 to the original county commissioners’ budget to be used to install a telephone system at the Somerset County Extension Services offices in Skowhegan.

County finance manager Earla Haggerty said earlier this month that the total budget is lower than the current budget largely because county commissioners recommend using $100,000 from surplus to offset spending in the general fund budget and in turn, to lower taxes. The lower amount also is because of the boost of $500,000 in from revenue from boarding federal prisoners.

The budget represents proposed spending for operations at the Somerset County Jail, the debt service on the jail, 12 spending lines for county departments and a projected $110,100 in overlay, an amount set aside to cover emergency expenses.

The budget has been broken down as follows:

* $5,623,695 for the general fund, minus $1,971,282 in revenues.

* $2,495,879 for debt service.

* Jail operations: $4,863,215.

* Overlay: $110,100.

There were no layoffs in the general fund portion of the budget.

The spending will be distributed among the 34 towns, plantations and territories in the county. The tax rate for Somerset County communities under the budget is $2.17 for every $1,000 in property valuation, which is slightly lower than the current rate of $2.18.

The itemized jail budget will be approved by county commissioners at 2:30 p.m., Thursday, June 26, at the county courthouse and will include revenue from the housing of federal prisoners, an issue that is being discussed with the state Board of Corrections.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367
[email protected]

 

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