ROCKLAND, Maine — The Knox County commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to raise the tax rate by a hundred-thousandth of a dollar for every $1,000 of property valuation. The budget remained stable because of job cuts and other savings measures.
The overall county tax assessment crept $10,500 past last year’s budget to a total of about $6.5 million.
The budget passed without much debate or discussion Tuesday afternoon.
At a December joint meeting of the commission and the county budget committee, the boards approved layoffs, outsourcing of departments and no raises for employees in 2011 to keep the budget nearly flat.
Elimination of the building maintenance department is one major change in next year’s budget. Instead of employing a building supervisor, a property manager and janitors with the 2010 wages and benefits of $153,000, the county instead will lay off the workers and outsource the department. Contracts for outsourcing cleaning and maintenance of county buildings will total about $128,000. The job cuts, in addition to the completion of brickwork, painting and lighting projects, will result in a 25 percent reduction in the maintenance budget, saving about $110,000.
Other major changes to the budget include adding $33,000 to the airport’s budget to fund operating expenses of the new terminal at Knox County Regional Airport.
The two boards also agreed to keep employees’ salaries in line with last year.