ALFRED — Although the review of the proposed York County government budget is in its initial stages, if it is approved as written, the $19.4 million spending plan represents a modest $128,000 increase to municipalities.

However, because of how the municipalities are valued, some communities would see increases in their county assessment, while others would see decreases.

Overall, the spending plan is up by $381,000, which is 2 percent more than this year’s budget. Some of that will come from funds held in special reserve accounts.

The county will use $100,000 from the District Attorney’s office administrative supervision fund to offset the creation of new positions, including increasing a part-time legal secretary to full time; the addition of a new victim witness advocate (a position partly funded by grants); and a new assistant trial manager.

The budget contains funds for a new detective at the York County Sheriff ’s Office and a half-time clerk to assist detectives with clerical and evidence management. It also includes moving a part-time maintenance position to full-time.

County Manager Greg Zinser reminded commissioners Wednesday that health insurance premiums increased by 20 percent in 2016, and another increase is expected for the 2017 fiscal year. The county will tap $290,000 tucked away in an insurance fund to help pay the tab, he said.

“This is a very good budget,” said Commissioner Richard Dutremble, reminding department heads that if they disagreed with figures in their departments, now was the time to say so.

Of the departments reviewed Wednesday – the registries of deeds and probate, the district attorney’s office and a handful of others – no one disagreed with Dutremble, although the county’s probate judge, Robert Nadeau, didn’t get a chance to speak.

During budget reviews, department heads stand at the ready to answer questions about increases or decreases in their spending plans. In the probate registry, the department head is Register Carol Lovejoy.

The proposed probate budget varies little from the current year, and does not contain additional hours for Nadeau, the part-time judge of probate, who has said numerous times in the past that he needs additional hours because of the workload.

Toward the end of Wednesday’s meeting, Commissioner Marston Lovell noted that Nadeau had been waiting, and speculated he wanted to speak about the budget. But commission Chairwoman Sallie Chandler refused to let him speak.

“He is not a department head, and we have already gone through the probate budget,” Chandler said.

Commissioners will continue their review of the proposed budget at their next meeting on April 20. It will then get turned over to the York County Budget Committee for its review and vote following a public hearing.

If the budget is approved entirely as proposed, Biddeford’s contribution would be $1.2 million, about $23,000 less than this year; Kennebunk would pay about $25,000 more, at $1.2 million; Saco would pay about $24,000 more, at $1.14 million; Sanford would pay $725,00 – about $11,700 less; and Wells would pay $25,000 more, at $1.6 million.

York, which traditionally pays more, would pay $33,500 less, at $2.1 million.

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 324-4444 (local call in Sanford) or 282-1535, ext. 327 or [email protected]


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