Aroostook jail budget $300,000 less than last year

9 years ago

HOULTON, Maine — Aroostook County commissioners and the sheriff set a budget on Sept. 2 of $3.6 million for the jail this upcoming year, which is down from $3.9 million spent the year before.

There were substantial savings in the jail budget this year, with revenues exceeding expenditures by $25,051, County Administrator Doug Beaulieu said Thursday.

The jail was left with a $31,050 fund balance that was transferred into capital accounts to be used for vehicle purchases, Beaulieu said.

The administrator credited Sheriff Darrell Crandall for making various operational and maintenance changes that led to the cut in the budget.

This is the first year that Aroostook County is in control of it own jail budget since the state Board of Corrections has been considered defunct, Beaulieu said.

The board was a remnant of former Gov. John Baldacci’s attempt to create a more organized system for overseeing Maine’s county jails. The effort never got off the ground, as funding and jurisdictional problems rendered the board ineffective and it was mothballed in 2014, when the departure of some members and the unwillingness of Gov. Paul LePage to appoint new members left the body incapable of achieving a quorum needed to take action.