Franklin County approves new cruiser, two deputies and UT budget

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FARMINGTON — Franklin County commissioners voted Tuesday to buy a 2018  cruiser, authorized hiring two new deputies and accepted a proposed $1.13 million budget for the unorganized territory for 2018-19.

Commissioners approved purchasing a new Ford Explorer Interceptor cruiser from Bailey Bros. Ford in Livermore Falls at a cost of $22,785. The cost factors in the trade-in of a 2015 Ford Explorer Interceptor.

The 2015 cruiser has nearly 78,000 miles on it and sometimes shuts down while being driven. The three-year, 36,000-mile warranty has expired.

Chief Deputy Steven Lowell has described it as a safety concern.

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The vehicle had been taken back to the dealership but continued to experience problems.

Lowell said Tuesday he had put requests out to three dealerships for quotes on a new vehicle.

He received two back, he said.

Quirk Auto Group in Augusta bid $22,260 for a 2017 with trade-in.

Commissioners favored the newer 2018 vehicle from Bailey’s that will need to be ordered. The 2015 cruiser is currently used as a spare.

The money for the cruiser will come from money in the mileage reimbursement account from Operation Stonegarden, a federal Homeland Security Grant program that the Sheriff’s Office participates in, Lowell said.

This is the fifth cruiser commissioners have approved purchasing this year. In August commissioners voted to accept a low bid from Quirk for four new 2017 Ford Explorer Interceptors. The cost was $28,692 per vehicle before trade-ins, and a total of $96,268 after trade-ins.

The budget had included $90,000 for cruisers. The remaining $6,268 came from reimbursement for mileage from the federal Operation Stonegarden grant used to enhance security of U.S. borders and territories.

Commissioners also voted to hire Allan Elmes of Rangeley and David Davol of Gray to fill two vacant deputy positions. Former Sgt. Kevin Hartley resigned several months ago and longtime Deputy Sandy Burke resigned last month.

Neither Elmes or Davol has police experience. They will attend the Maine Criminal Justice Academy at separate times next year.

In other business, commissioners accepted a proposed $1.13 million budget for the unorganized territory. It will now go to the state for approval and if approved would go into effect on July 1, 2018.

The spending plan represents an overall increase of $78,007 from the current budget.

The majority of the increase is proposed in the snow removal budget that shows a combined increase of $39,895 to make it $473,746. The increases are being factored in for Madrid, Langtown, and Freeman-Salem townships. The Washington-Perkins townships budget remained the same at $65,000.

Marcia McInnis, the state fiscal administrator for the unorganized territory, said she had no concerns over the proposed budget.

“You are doing a good job on the budget,” she said.

She said she was curious why the snow removal budget went up so much.

County Clerk Julie Magoon said that two of the contracts are up next year and she added extra money to the budget for potential increases. Another contract was renewed earlier this year for an increased amount. A contractor can renew a contract each year for five years, she said.

After factoring in anticipated revenues, the proposed tax assessment for the UT budget would be $953,395.

dperry@sunmediagroup.net

Marcia McInnis, left, fiscal administrator of the unorganized territory in the state, attended a public hearing Tuesday on a proposed $1.13 million budget for the UT in Franklin County for 2018-19. Looking on are Register of Probate Joyce Morton, Chief Deputy Steven Lowell, Register of Deeds Sue Black and county Financial Director Vickie Braley. (Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal)

Franklin County Commissioners Terry Brann of Wilton, left, Chairman Charles Webster of Farmington and Clyde Barker of Strong speak with Marcia McInnis, state fiscal administrator for the unorganized territory, (not shown) on Tuesday during a public hearing on a proposed $1.13 million budget for the UT in Franklin County for 2018-19 at the commissioners office in Farmington. (Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal)

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