FARMINGTON — Franklin County commissioners opened 15 bids Tuesday afternoon from contractors seeking to build the county’s new dispatch communications center.

The low bidder was Taylor Made Homes Inc. of Wilton at $498,900. The other bids ranged from $541,619 from S.J. Wood Construction Co. of Winthrop to $712,592 from J.M. Brown General Contractors of Hermon.

Many contractors turned out for the bid opening in the courtroom at the Franklin County Courthouse. The meeting was moved from the commissioners room due to the number of people who turned out.

County voters in June authorized spending $598,300 to build a 2,200-square-foot, stand-alone dispatch center. It will be across from the Sheriff’s Department on County Way where the dispatch center is currently located.

Based on Taylor Made Homes’ bid, project engineer Keith Ewing said, “We are over-budget by $22,600.” He was referring to the construction budget. That is not factoring in what Central Maine Power will charge to run power to the new center from Route 4.

Ewing checked out the company’s insurance bond. D. Scott Taylor owner of the low bidding company stayed to talk with commissioners and Ewing after other contractors left.


Ewing recommended commissioners enter into negotiations with Taylor on the project. Commissioners did not act on the recommendation but did begin talks with Taylor. Commissioners plan to hold a special meeting after all outstanding information is gathered to make sure there is enough money.

One of the big costs included in the budget is a new 50- to 52-kilowatt generator needed as back-up if the electricity goes out.

The cost may be able to be reduced depending on what type of enclosure, if any, is needed.

Taylor told commissioners he could get more specific information on the enclosure. Once he does, he will send it to Ewing at Plymouth Engineering Inc. in Plymouth.

Commissioners will consider holding off paving a handicap accessible spot until July 1, 2013.

It could be prepped until it was paved, Taylor said.


Building Committee Chairman Stan Wheeler also pointed out there was $14,000 budgeted for architecture services that was not needed because Plymouth Engineering came in well under budget. That could be more available money.

If the generator has its now enclosure, that could trim more money from the budget, Taylor said.

“That may be a quick budget fix right there,” he said.

Commissioner Clyde Barker of Strong asked if they could wait until July 1, 2013, to buy the generator.

“I don’t want to go six months without a generator,” Commissioner Fred Hardy of New Sharon said.

“You don’t want to go six minutes without a generator” when dealing with emergency dispatching services, Wheeler said.


The building needs to be substantially complete in April. The next generation of 911 emergency equipment can be installed for free if the county has a building to put it in. Otherwise the equipment would be installed in the current space and the county would have to pay to move it.

Chairman Gary McGrane of Jay said he did not want to go back to taxpayers to ask for more money for the project. The project had initially been estimated to be $31,000 more but Hardy asked that it be trimmed to come in under $600,000.

“I’m glad to see a local construction company is the low bidder,” Barker said.

“So am I,” Wheeler said.

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