Knox County officials hold budget hike at 4 percentFunds reinstated for Knox-Lincoln Soil and Water Conservation District
Rockland — Knox County budget officials voted for a 4-percent increase in the 2013 spending package Tuesday night, Dec. 11, but not before reinstating $5,333 to help fund the Knox-Lincoln Soil and Water Conservation District.
County Commissioners voted unanimously in support of the $9.5 million in total spending. Budget Committee members voted 7-1 in support of the budget, with Elizabeth Dickerson of Rockland opposed.
The amount to be paid in taxes is $7.8 million. A surplus of $175,000 was used to reduce the tax commitment.
The vote concluded five sessions of budget talks and a public hearing Tuesday on the new figures at the Knox County Courthouse before final approval. At that hearing, Mark Hedrich, chairman of the Knox-Lincoln Soil and Water Conservation District, spoke for reinstating $5,333 to his request, which had been cut at an earlier meeting. The added money puts the Knox contribution on a par with the amount paid by Lincoln County and helps to pay for an office that the district lost when the federal government withdrew its support last year, Hedrich said.
County Administrator Andrew Hart had attributed the increase to the first-year principal and interest payment of $237,354 on the $2.5 million bond for renovating the public safety building at 301 Park St. in Rockland. That building will house the sheriff's office, Emergency Management Agency, and county dispatch office once renovations are done.
The financing rate on the bond is 1.866 percent and is expected to cost $25,000 in interest over the 15-year life of the bond, Hart said.
The effect of countywide taxes on individual homeowners will not be known until later in the year when municipal governments and school districts in the county have calculated their own budgets, Hart said.
Courier Publications reporter George Chappell can be reached by phone at 207-594-4401, ext. 117, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.