FARMINGTON — Franklin County commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to reject a proposal to restructure the Civil Division and create a utility deputy position to serve civil papers.

Commissioners had tabled action on Sheriff’s Scott Nichols Sr.’s proposal April 1.

Nichols had said the utility position would be paid from the revenue generated.

It was an effort to be more efficient, save the county money, including overtime costs, and generate revenue, he said. The position could also provide an extra deputy on the road, if necessary.

Civil papers include those for divorce filings, civil suits and eviction notices.

Civil Deputy Peter Mars of Monmouth, who serves papers in Franklin County, attended Tuesday’s meeting. According to Mars’ information, he made $12,947.14 for serving papers in Franklin County in 2013. There also is a second person who serves paperwork.


The new position would cost $53,169, including payroll, health benefits calculated at the highest rate, state retirement, workers compensation and other associated expenses, Nichols said. It would be a union position.

As of February, the civil process had generated $68,124 for 2013-14 and was expected to increase, Nichols previously said.

The Sheriff’s Department has no records available to determine who has been served or who has not, he had said, and sometimes members of the community ask questions and he doesn’t have the answers.

The utility deputy would use a spare cruiser.

Each county has a different way of handling the civil paperwork process, as Nichols had previously indicated, Commissioner Gary McGrane of Jay said. He talked to the Oxford County treasurer about that county’s process. They started in January and don’t really have a handle on the finances, but it is pretty much break-even so far, McGrane said.

In Oxford County, two deputies serve civil papers.


Commissioners’ concerns included fixing a service that is not broken, the cost of sending someone to the academy, and providing clothing, a cruiser and benefits for the new position.

After commissioners rejected the plan, Nichols said he would like to keep the money he put in his proposed budget for records-keeping software pertaining to serving civil paperwork to keep track of it.

Nichols also told commissioners that his proposed budget is less than the current budget.

Commissioners began a budget review on Tuesday with program grants. They will continue at 9 a.m. Wednesday, April 16, at the Franklin County Courthouse.

In another matter, commissioners voted to approve a new pay scale for nonunion workers.

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