Franklin County commissioners buy security cameras

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Franklin County commissioners congratulated members of the county Tuesday who received Spirit of America awards for volunteer service in their towns. From left is Josh Michaud of Wilton, for helping with revitalization of the downtown; Brian Ellis of Rangeley, a 58-year member of Rangeley Fire Rescue Department;  Susan Lambert of New Vineyard, volunteer firefighter and assistant fire chief who placed flags on veterans’ graves; County Commissioner Terry Brann of Wilton; Rita Smith of Temple, a Girl Scout leader for more than 15 years; and Commissioners Clyde Barker of Strong and Chairman Charles Webster of Farmington. Not able to make the ceremony are award recipients Jeff Chaisson of Wilton for his efforts in Wilton and James Boyce of Kingfield, trail master of Kingfield Sno-Wanderers Snowmobile Club for many years. Most award recipients had more volunteer service than what is listed. (Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal)

FARMINGTON — Franklin County commissioners voted Tuesday to use $5,559 from the Detention Center’s reserve account for additional surveillance cameras and a larger monitor to beef up security at the jail.

Sheriff Scott Nichols Sr. said a lot of areas in the jail are dark. There has been an increase in violence over the past couple of years, he said.

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In one case, an inmate attacked another inmate and the county ended up paying for the medical expenses, Nichols said.

Jail Administrator Doug Blauvelt said he had Assistant Administrator John Donald do a survey of where cameras are needed.

Cameras have been upgraded in the past.

More violent incidents and violence against inmates and jail personnel have occurred recently than in the past, Nichols said.

County Clerk Julie Magoon said a reserve account to make improvements at the jail was set up and approved through the budget process that included the Budget Advisory Committee.

“I think it is a valid request because of safety,” Commissioner Terry Brann of Wilton said.

In court on Monday, Christopher Elliott, 40, formerly of Madrid Township who has been in jail since July on other charges, pleaded guilty to assaulting an inmate on Oct. 24. One of his probation conditions is to pay $15,600 in restitution to Franklin County for damage done at the jail and for medical expenses for injuries he sustained in the altercation.

In other business on Tuesday, commissioners had no problem with changing the name of Doctors Island to Maneskootuk Island in Rangeley Lake in Rangeley. Commissioner Clyde Barker of Strong said Rangeley selectmen approved the name change Monday night.

The U.S. Board on Geographic Names had asked commissioners for their opinions on the name change as requested by island owner Carolyn G. Scolfield of Rangeley. The island had been named Maneskootuk in the past and the name had been changed several times over the years.

Commissioners also voted to uphold the 1968 closure of Merchant Road in Perkins Township as a county road. The county has been maintaining the road for decades even though it was closed, Brann said.  

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