The 2019 budget for Waldo County government services is up 5.4 percent and could increase more before a final vote Nov. 30.

County government, led by three county commissioners, oversees the Sheriff's Office, jail and Maine Coastal Regional Reentry Center, Regional Communications Center, Emergency Management Agency, Registry of Probate, Registry of Deeds and District Attorney's Office.

The proposed $9 million bottom line is up about $459,000 from the current year. Roughly half of that increase comes from employee benefits, which would cost $1.45 million next year as the county makes up for borrowing from its self-insurance fund in several prior years.

County Commissioner William Shorey said the county typically sets aside $805,000 per year, but budgeted less for several years to build up its reserve fund. Next year, it will return to $805,000, he said.

With construction of the new unified courthouse, the county will lose a regular revenue stream of about $100,000 a year in rent paid by the state for space rented at District Court, which eventually will be occupied exclusively by county offices.

The biggest future expense, Shorey said, will be renovations to Superior Court — a stately building three blocks north of District Court — which likewise will be vacated when the new courthouse opens.

Shorey anticipates some of the space being rented out, which would require modifications to make new offices.

"I'm suggesting they start putting aside $100,000 per year so we don't get hit all at once," he said. If agreed upon, that $100,000 would add to the 2019 budget increase.

Waldo County is one of the only counties in which the Budget Committee has the last word. The final budget hearing and vote will be held Friday, Nov. 30, at 6 p.m., Maine District Courtroom, 103 Church St., Belfast.