OTISFIELD – The town’s emergency management director told selectmen Wednesday that he was pleased with the response to the the Patriot’s Day rainstorm.

“This last emergency went, I think, very well,” Frank Blauvelt said. He praised the Oxford County Emergency Management Agency as well as the Otisfield Fire Department for their efforts during the storm.

He reported the actions taken regarding the storm and said the county has qualified for aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and President Bush’s declaration of disaster on Sunday allows towns to collect FEMA funds.

According to a report compiled by the Oxford County EMA on April 23, Otisfield sustained $110,000 in damage.

Blauvelt attended a meeting Wednesday morning that included representatives from FEMA and the state EMA. He said if paperwork is submitted within 30 days, FEMA will only have to confirm 20 percent of the town’s requests, as opposed to 100 percent if it is submitted later than that. He said residents can request individual assistance, providing they have the documentation to back up their claims, though he also pointed out that there has not yet been a federal declaration for individual aid.

Blauvelt also requested permission to install a radio at the town office for emergency use. Mark Cyr, chairman of the selectmen, said the request would be granted since it was in the EMA budget.

Richard Bean, the town’s road commissioner, spoke briefly on the road conditions.

Cyr said FEMA aid could be used for the Parkway restoration project, and hoped to have the project completed by Sept. 1.

Bean said cones and other warnings on damaged road areas had been set up, but the markers were being stolen.

Caldwell Jackson, the county commissioner who represents Otisfield, briefed selectmen on the vehicles purchased for the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office. Two Ford Expeditions and three Crown Victorias were purchased from the Ripley & Fletcher Co. in Paris for $88,556. Jackson said the Expeditions were better suited for the rougher roads of Otisfield.

Selectmen questioned the purchase. Cyr said the vehicles would only get 12 miles per gallon, and that Ford Explorers would have been cheaper and better to use in winter conditions.

“You talk about the budget, and what the town of Otisfield owes, and it just seems like a lot,” Cyr said.

Jackson said the town’s valuation had increased by about $144 million since the year 2000, while the tax revenue had increased by $93,000. Selectmen were concerned with the overall increase in the county budget, which they said had climbed at an alarming rate in the same time period.

Rick Micklon reported for the Planning Board, saying he had advised that the board would no longer participate in issuing fines and penalties. Micklon said the task was better suited for the selectmen and the code enforcement officer.

Selectmen will meet next at 7 p.m. May 16 at the town office.


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