FARMINGTON — Franklin County Commissioners approved $6.2 million in spending requests for the 2016-2017 fiscal year during their review of the budget this week.

With anticipated revenue for the upcoming year still under review, a total budget figure is not yet available. The budget for 2015-2016 totals $5,718,243.

The Franklin County Budget Advisory Committee will meet at 5 p.m. Monday, May 2, for its first review of the budget. Once the committee makes its recommendations, the proposed budget will go back to the commissioners and a public hearing for the budget will be scheduled.

Included in the review, and approved by commissioners, was a $1,892,955 budget request for the Franklin County Detention Center. This is the first time commissioners have reviewed a jail budget request since 2008, the last year it was at a fully operational status before being converted into a 72-hour holding center in 2009 under the state’s county jail consolidation.

The jail reopened to full operational status in April last year.

Commissioners recommended a $1,592,073 budget for the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, about $10,000 more than what Sheriff Scott Nichols had requested. The increased recommendation represents minor pay increases for two lieutenants in the department. Included in Nichols’ request was funding for four new cruisers for the sheriff’s department.

Nichols said typically the department gets three new cruisers every year, trading in cruisers that reach about 100,000 miles. However, last year the department was only approved for two, so the additional funding for a fourth cruiser this year is intended to counter the loss last year, he said.

Nichols also presented the commissioners with a proposal to establish a regional animal control officer to service the unorganized territory and participating Franklin County towns. Nichols is exploring the idea of establishing the position as a pilot program if he attracts enough interest from the towns.

The commissioners were not immediately receptive to the idea, fearing that the position would grow over time into something bigger.

“I’m opposed to that because I can’t see how it can be done without long-term adding to the budget,” Commissioner Charlie Webster said Friday. “You cant cover the whole county with a part-time person. … I don’t see it as logical.”

Nichols said the part-time position would cost about $20,000 annually, a cost that would be split among participating towns. Nichols said Farmington, New Sharon, Phillips, Avon and Industry have expressed interest in the idea.

Commissioners plan to discuss the issue again at their next meeting.

Lauren Abbate — 861-9252

[email protected]

Twitter: @Lauren_M_Abbate

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.