County agrees to contract increase

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FARMINGTON – Commissioners voted to renew a five-year contract Tuesday to continue leasing land and a building on Mosher Hill in Farmington where a county communications tower is located.

Tom Eastler, owner of the land and a building the county uses, requested that the contract increase from $1,200 a year to $1,500 a year to help pay property taxes.

The county’s tower serves the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department and anyone it dispatches, including fire services, Sheriff Dennis Pike said.

The county is responsible for maintaining the tower and the building, according to the contract.

The five-year contract expired Dec. 31, 2005, but due to a mathematical error it was written as it expired Dec. 31, 2006.

Commissioners agreed to pay the $300 to take care of last year’s additional lease fee from last year’s account.

The new contract runs from Jan. 1, 2006, to Dec. 31, 2010.

Eastler said he was open to having the tower extended if the county ever needs to do so.

The tower is 100 feet tall. A second tower on Eastler’s property is 199 feet tall and is used by Maine State Police and Tri-County Emergency Medical Services.

The reason that tower is only 199 feet tall is because the Federal Aviation Administration requires towers 200 feet and taller to have lights on them, Eastler said.

Eastler’s increased amount is less than what the county pays for space on a communications tower and in a building on Sugarloaf Mountain, Pike said.

The county pays $400 a month or $4,800 a year to lease that space, he said.

In other matters, Commissioners Fred Hardy of New Sharon and Meldon Gilmore of Freeman Township elected Commissioner Gary McGrane of Jay, who was absent from the meeting, as chairman.

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