ACADIA NATIONAL PARK, Maine — Acadia’s budget for 2010 is increasing by more than $300,000 from last year, according to a park official.

Deputy Superintendent Len Bobinchock said Wednesday that Acadia’s budget for the 2010 fiscal year, which runs from Oct. 1, 2009, through Sept. 30, 2010, is $8,269,000.

“It’s very good news,” Bobinchock said. “We’ll be in a better position. Not every park gets a base increase like we did this year.”

Included in the park budget is $497,000 that is to be used for the park’s base expenses, which include salaries, operational costs such as utility bills and seasonal employees, according to Bobinchock.

This is roughly the same amount that the National Park Service allocated to Acadia for the same purpose in 2009, he said, but because the 2009 allocation was made later in the fiscal year, Acadia ended up receiving only 70 percent of what had been budgeted. Because the same allocation is coming through earlier this year, it is as if Acadia is getting a $141,000 increase for its base expenses budget, he said. After each new fiscal year begins, national parks operate at the previous year’s funding levels until their new allocations are announced.

Acadia also is getting $175,000 more for mandated pay and benefit increases and an additional $26,000 in centennial support funds, Bobinchock said. The $26,000 will go toward efforts first funded in 2008 to enhance park facilities and programs in advance of the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary in 2016, he said.

The deputy superintendent said the park hopes it will be able to use some of its base budget increase to fill positions that have been vacant for several years.

“We still have about 20 positions that are unfilled,” Bobinchock said. “It would be our goal to fill some of those positions.”

But Acadia has to be careful to make sure it will have funding for the long term to cover any personnel costs it may add back to its budget, he said. The park cannot simply hire someone and then lay him off a year later because of budget restrictions, he said.

“We need to be sure we have the money five years from now,” he said.

Bill Trotter

Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....