The county budget season is upon us and it’s a perfect opportunity to break down the process, which isn’t well known.
The typical annual county budget is around $20+ million. To give you a comparison on both ends of the spectrum, the city of Saco annual municipal budget has been around $35+ million and the governor put forth her most recent two-year budget proposal of $10+ billion.
ALFRED - The York County Budget Committee has a number of vacancies to fill ahead of the budget season.
There are a total of 10 vacancies that need to be filled for the full committee to be in place.
Each of the 5 county commission districts has 2 municipal elected officials and a public member represented on the committee. The committee is also supposed to have a legislator from the York County delegation serve as a non-voting member. Members are selected at an annual caucus, where any elected municipal official in the county can vote on the selection.
“I would encourage the communities in my district to send elected officials to the caucus to vote on the vacancies and put forward individuals interested in serving on the committee as we have all three spots open,” says County Commissioner Justin Chenette, who represents Saco, Old Orchard Beach, Hollis, and Buxton. “This part of the public process is entirely separate from the commission and is a critical step towards ensuring that the county budget is finalized by the communities throughout York County in a transparent and accountable way.”
We hosted U.S. Senator Angus King at our York County Government office for a roundtable discussion around the important projects being developed with the American Rescue Plan funds. These include our new 1st Responder Training Center and Treatment Recovery Center. Sen. King mentioned a few other funding opportunities that could be tapped into for future initiatives. His office has been great to work with over the years and is very responsive on county needs.
Honored to participate as a panelist in the 4th annual Saco Bay Symposium hosted by SOS "Save Our Shores" Saco Bay at Saco City Hall. Topics discussed included: The county dredge purchase, dune recovery projects and legislation to help with them, erosion data based on recent storms, Army Corps project update, and state climate grant availability. When I started this forum back in 2020, my goal was to bring every level of government together: local, county, state, and Federal to coordinate solutions to Camp Ellis and coastal erosion. I really appreciate SOS Saco Bay for all their continued efforts not just with this forum, but for keeping these issues on the front burner. We wouldn’t be where we are at in terms of progress without their strong advocacy.
I don’t have to tell you that sea level rise poses a serious threat to Old Orchard Beach. You’ve seen it. We are experiencing it. The most recent storm that flooded Old Orchard Beach was illustrative of the change we are already dealing with. According to state data, a 1.6-foot sea level rise would reduce our dry beach by almost a third of its width.
OOB, like many coastal Maine communities, has an economy reliant on having a healthy and safe coastline to support tourism and recreation. Not to mention homes in danger of being washed away.