FARMINGTON — Members of Franklin County’s budget committee met with county department heads Wednesday night for a preliminary look at 2019-2020 budget numbers, including for the county jail, facilities and communications.

At the Franklin County Detention Center, officials are asking for $2.23 million in funding for 2019-2020, an increase of about 5% from the current $2.11 million.

Sheriff Scott Nichols said the increase includes a request of about $16,000 to hire a nurse to administer medications at night rather than a corrections officer, a move the state Department of Corrections now requires.

In other departments, Nicholas Palmer, facilities manager for the county, also addressed a request of $10,000 for a generator at the Franklin County courthouse. The total department request for the county courthouse is $142,750, down from the current $215,793.

A large part of the decrease is due to capital projects, including courthouse renovations and a boiler replacement that were done in the current budget cycle.

Palmer said the department is asking for an increase to purchase the generator, something the courthouse has been without for years. This winter, the building lost power four to six times during business hours.

“We’re looking to protect our investment (in the courthouse) and make things better,” he said. “Even if it’s not something we do this year, it is something we’d like to do in future years.”

In the communications department, Director C.L. Folsom addressed an $18,500 increase in capital costs for a new voice recorder. Folsom said the department’s current recorder was purchased used from Somerset County and requires $2,500 in maintenance per year.

“In the time we’ve had it, it would have paid for itself to have a new one,” Folsom said.

The department is also asking for $18,640 in new funding for a fourth dispatch station, which includes about $14,000 for a new work station and additional funds for new equipment.

Folsom said having the extra station will help rework scheduling and save the department in overtime costs.

The Budget Committee will meet May 20 to take a first vote on the budget before a public hearing June 5. The committee is scheduled to take a final vote on the budget June 12.

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