Budget still needs work in Washington County

Posted Nov. 06, 2009, at 7:52 p.m.

MACHIAS, Maine — Although the Washington County commissioners had hoped to finish the 2010 county budget Thursday, they decided instead to keep working on some health insurance matters.

The process is working well, Chairman Chris Gardner said Friday morning.

“We came out of the gate with a pretty good budget,” he said. Proposed initially at just 1.7 percent over the current budget, it has been trimmed to a 1 to 2 percent decrease, Gardner said.

“This is the fifth year that this board of commissioners has been in place, and this is the fourth decrease we have brought forward,” he said.

“Right now we are hammering out some health care issues, trying to contain costs, and so we are not quite done yet,” Gardner said. He estimated one more meeting will complete the process and the $6 million budget will be ready for adoption.

Gardner said that with increasing state cuts, local municipalities would be looking to the county to provide more services.

“We need to strike a balance,” he said.

The next budget advisory board meeting is set for noon Monday, Nov. 16.

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