Knox County budget sails to approval

By Stephen Betts | Dec 06, 2018
Source: File photo

Rockland — The Knox County Commission and Knox County Budget Committee both unanimously approved an $11.5 million budget for 2019 at a joint meeting Thursday night, Dec. 6.

There was no debate following two months of review by the panels. There were no public comments at the official hearing held immediately prior to the votes. The meeting lasted 17 minutes.

The budget represents an increase of slightly more than 3 percent over the previous year.

The increase is due largely to wage increases and higher costs for benefits. The consumer price index increases for county employees is proposed at 2.9 percent, in addition to any step increases earned by the staff.

Another reason for the increased budget is the cost of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning project at the courthouse. The county expects a first-year payment for the project of $170,000.

The largest department in the county budget is the jail, with annual expenses of nearly $4.1 million.

The sheriff's patrol budget was approved at $2.4 million.

The communications budget was set at $1,259,000.

The building maintenance for the courthouse and public safety complex total $643,000.

The airport budget was approved at nearly $631,000, but that is offset by $601,000 in revenues, which means that less than $30,000 in property taxes is needed to finance its operation.

The administration budget is $555,000. The district attorney's budget will be $513,000. The probate department budget was set at $265,000. The Registry of Deeds budget is $260,000, with revenues of $460,000. The debt repayment budget is $214,000. The Emergency Management Agency's budget was approved at nearly $210,000.

The county will use $185,000 in surplus to reduce the property tax impact.

Camden will pay the largest share of the county budget, at $1,545,000, an increase of $48,000.

The cost of the county budget is divided based largely on property valuations, with the highest-valued communities paying the greatest amount.

Rockport pays the next most, at $1,169,000, an increase of $53,000. Rockland's share of the county budget is expected to be $1,078,000, up about $25,000. St. George will be paying $1,000,000, up about $44,000.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | Dec 08, 2018 10:03

Inquiring minds would like to know why NO representatives from either the Rockland City Council, the Camden selectman, or any of the towns in Knox county choose to a attend the public hearing and voice their concern reguarding the continued annual increase in the Knox county budget.  The county administrator submitted his budget proposal two months ago.  Since then the County commissioners and budget committee members have considered and debated the proposed budget and in the end approved it almost intact.  When I was the only speaker at the first public hearing I encouraged the committee to actually do something to stop this on going increase.  It is clear they have no interest in stopping these increases, only the same old tired excuses about payroll and insurance increases.  Our representatives complaining about the County and School increases after they have occurred will do nothing to stop this.  As concerned citizens WE must step up to the plate and demand that our representatives hold the line.  If they believe you don't care neither will they.

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