MINOT — Selectmen learned Tuesday that the agreement for the county to assess the town $11,731 to provide emergency dispatch services through the Androscoggin County Sheriff's Office may be in jeopardy.
Emily Tuttle, a member of the county Budget Committee, told selectmen Tuesday that the committee recently was given copies of the Auburn City Council's resolution calling on county commissioners to adopt a dispatch plan that eliminates the subsidies provided by the taxpayers of Lewiston and Auburn “for dispatch services that the county is not required to provide and which our communities do not receive.”
The resolution also said that, “beginning January 1, 2013, the city of Auburn shall take the necessary steps required to eliminate the current subsidy" provided by the city of Auburn.
Tuttle said the Budget Committee won't be taking up items related to the Sheriff's Department funding requests until a meeting scheduled Dec. 5.
She also said she had no idea what effect the Auburn City Council's resolution might have on Minot, but she did note that the county commissioners had ruled that dispatch was a core county service.
Selectman Dan Gilpatric said the resolution appeared to be a rehash of a longstanding complaint that Lewiston and Auburn have about subsidizing emergency dispatch services for the smaller county towns, while the smaller towns gripe about subsidizing the jail.
Selectman Dean Campbell suggested that perhaps Minot should pass a similar resolve regarding how services provided by the county jail are funded.
“Set it up so we'll pay $150 a night for housing people (at the jail) from Minot, and Auburn and Lewiston can pay the same,” Campbell said.
In other business, Campbell reported that Fire Department officials are working on next year's budget as well as gathering information requested by the town's Facilities Committee, which has been charged with deciding whether to recommend a plan to expand the Central Fire Station.
Campbell noted that it has been very difficult trying to find a town with population, geography and land-use characteristics similar to Minot, in order to judge the need for the expansion.
“They will have the say in whether the expansion is needed,” Campbell said.
The Facilities Committee will meet at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14.
Town Administrator Arlan Saunders reported he has applied for a rebate program to experiment with a trailer load of about 30 tons of salt that has been treated with a byproduct from making rum.
Saunders said the treated salt is effective at a much lower temperature than regular road salt and is more environmentally friendly. The corrosion factor of the salt is cut from 100 to 8.