AUGUSTA — The Kennebec County Budget Committee voted to adopt both the Kennebec County and Unity Township budgets Wednesday, two weeks after the vote was originally scheduled to take place.

The vote is the next-to-last step in approving the spending plans; it next goes to the Kennebec County commissioners for their consideration.

At the end of April, the county’s Budget Committee endorsed the proposed spending plans for Kennebec County government at $17.4 million  and for Unity Township at $21,500 for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

Among the county’s priorities was preserving its undesignated fund balance for unexpected expenses during the year; county officials opted not to use any to offset revenue to be raised through property tax. The undesignated fund balance is money in the county budget that has not been obligated for a specific purpose.

The impact on taxpayers is expected to be county taxes that range from 1.93% to 2.17% higher in communities across Kennebec County. But because the state valuation for all the communities except the unincorporated territory of Unity Township has risen, the effect of this property tax increase is expected to be lessened.

On Wednesday, five members attended and voted at a virtual meeting to unanimously approve both proposed budgets.

“I applaud (County Administrator Scott Ferguson’s) efforts as well as the entire staff and department heads through this process,” Sarah Fuller, chairwoman of the county Budget Committee, said.

The vote was originally scheduled to take place on May 11 in the conference room at Hill House, the county’s office, following the second of two public hearings. It had to be postponed when only four members attended the meeting. To take action, at least five members needed to be present.

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