County budget up nearly 6 percent

ELLSWORTH — Hancock County government will be growing in the new year.

The county will be hiring an information technology employee and an additional sheriff’s deputy as well as increasing the hours of a few part-time staffers.

The new positions are included in the FY 2018 Hancock County budget, which starts Jan. 1.

The Hancock County Commissioners voted Nov. 21 to approve a budget totaling $8,363,578. That’s nearly six percent higher than the current budget, which ends Dec. 31, according to County Treasurer Janice Eldridge.

The vote was split with Chairman Antonio Blasi and Commissioner Bill Clark voting in favor of the budget. Commissioner Percy “Joe” Brown voted against.

“I think it’s just too big a bite all in one year,” said Brown.

However, the Hancock County Budget Advisory Committee, which advises the board on proposed county budgets, voted in favor of the additional staff as well as increased hours for a few part-time staffers.

The committee consists of local municipal officials and one legislator, Ralph Chapman, a Green Independent from Brooksville.

Brown motioned to override the committee’s recommendation and not hire an additional deputy.

Blasi and Brown voted in favor of the override but Clark opposed so the motion failed. According to statute, it takes a unanimous vote of the commissioners to overturn a recommendation from the budget advisory committee.

The approved budget will generate a $5,834,970 tax bill to be divided up by Hancock County’s 37 municipalities. The taxes are assessed based on Maine Revenue Service’s total property valuation of each community.

County Treasurer Janice Eldridge said projected revenues total $2,528,608.  That will make up the difference between the taxes municipalities will pay and the total expenditures.

Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] or call 667-2576.
Jennifer Osborn

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