County budget better than on track

14 years ago

County budget better than on track

By Natalie Bazinet

Staff Writer

With the still shaky state of the national economy, county government officials have kept Aroostook’s ledgers stable, smooth and under budget. With 58 percent of the county’s funding cycle completed, Aroostook County Administrator Douglas Beaulieu was pleased to report to the County Commissioners earlier this month that only expended 49 percent have been expended of budgeted funds. Beaulieu informed the commissioners that departmental revenue is holding its own; as the Registry of Deeds revenue is on track to meet projections which, the County Administrator explained, indicates that the economy may be picking up as real estate transactions are increasing.

Also beneficial to The County’s bottom line, Aroostook County Public Safety Coordinator and Fire Chief Darren Woods has applied for a Safety Enhancement Grant through the Maine Municipal Association to provide turnout gear — the protective gear that firefighters wear — for the North Lakes Fire and Rescue Department, which covers Cross Lake, Sinclair, Madawaska Lake and Square Lake. According to Woods, the total amount of the equipment comes to $4,884 of which the grant would cover two-thirds the cost, with the department picking up the rest of the bill.

While county officials have run into some difficulty obtaining allocated funds from the Board of Corrections, Beaulieu reported that the county has received $65,099 from the Board of Corrections’ Investment Fund for the County Jail System which brings them current.

During the last meeting of the Aroostook County Commissioners in Caribou on Sept. 15, Aroostook County Emergency Management Agency (ACEMA) Director Vernon Ouellette presented the commissioners with an annual summary and update regarding the department’s programs and contingency services currently in place.

The next meeting of the Aroostook County Commissioners is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 6 in Houlton.