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Washington County Budget Meeting 

The 2010 Washington County budget was on the agenda at a meeting in Machias Thursday.Washington County Commissioners Chairman Chris Gardner says they need to reduce taxes.He says the biggest part of the budget, the jail consolidation, has taken away some flexibility.Health insurance costs was also discussed.Gardner says many of the taxpayers can’t even afford their own health insurance and they owe it to them to cut the costs as much as they can.But Gardner says it isn’t all negative. They are on track to lower the budget by up to two percent.”We have been very aggressive at looking at our leases versus what we owe. We’ve been able to do away with a lot of leases that were costing the county a lot of money that really didn’t need to be. Being able to make sure advances in that area we’re also able to reduce our debt. We are now debt free.”Gardner says being debt free in these tough economic times is a great accomplishment and something that should also help in the long run.