SKOWHEGAN — Somerset County commissioners will get the proposed county budget for the coming year after a public hearing Wednesday night.

The hearing on the proposed budget of $12.5 million for 2019 is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday in Superior Court, upstairs in the courthouse on High Street. The meeting is open to the public.

Patrick Dolan, the county finance manager, said the $12,503,181 budget, which does not include an overlay for unexpected shortfalls in property tax revenue, represents an increase of 0.7 percent or $84,273 over the 2018 budget, but those numbers could be adjusted before the final vote.

The proposed budget breaks down like this:

• $4,863,215 for operations at the Somerset County Jail.

• $2,097,875 for debt service on the construction of the jail.

• $5,542,091 for general county spending.

Somerset County Administrator Dawn DiBlasi said the county Budget Committee has approved the spending package, paving the way for Wednesday’s public hearing and a vote by the county commissioners.

The commissioners will meet after the hearing. If commissioners agree with the Budget Committee’s spending package, they will vote it in as the final budget. If they disagree, the package — with commissioners’ changes — goes back to the Budget Committee for a final vote.

If the Budget Committee cannot muster a two-thirds majority to put its approved budget into effect for the new fiscal year, the commissioners’ budget takes effect on July 1.

“We cut everything that we could cut,” DiBlasi said of her work with Dolan and county department heads. “From there it (went) to the commissioners, and they cut a few things but they were quite pleased that we brought them such a lean budget.”

DiBlasi said the county budget comes to a public hearing and vote a little early this year as a convenience to Somerset County towns.

“A lot of the municipalities wanted us to have it done earlier so they could do their budgets,” she said. “So there was a push to get it done a little sooner so the municipalities would know what their share of it was. We’re typically 8 to 10 percent of a municipal budget.”

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter:@Doug_Harlow

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