AUBURN — The Androscoggin County Commission on Wednesday approved spending $139,029 to purchase four patrol vehicles for the Sheriff’s Office.

The actual costs of the four Ford Utility Police Interceptors, minus the trade-in of three vehicles, was $105,544. That was roughly $8,000 under budget, Sheriff Eric Samson said.

The remaining money is for buying and installing emergency equipment and adding decals to the vehicles. 

Quirk Auto Group of Hallowell was the low bidder.

A fifth patrol vehicle, included in the same bid, will be paid for by the town of Poland. The town contracts with the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office for police service.

Similar savings were found in the bid to replace the aging two-way radios in the patrol vehicles. Since the bid came in under budget by more than $200 per radio, Samson recommended that commissioners purchase 22 radios instead of the 20 he originally budgeted.

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Despite the two extra radios, the final amount remained less than the $100,000 budgeted over five years to pay for the upgrade.

In other business, commissioners once again tabled action on the bid to purchase furniture for the new probate courtroom. Last week, County Administrator Larry Post said he could not find in the budget — nor any record in the minutes — for the $16,700 that was supposed to be set aside for that purchase.

A detailed search of the minutes from late 2014 and early 2015 revealed no mention of the amount that commissioners recall carrying over to the next budget year.

Commissioner Randall Greenwood suggested that the funds might have been originally budgeted in 2013 to be funded in 2014. Post said his group did not go back that far in searching the records, but would do so before the next meeting.

Hoping for a better way to stay in touch with everything happening in the county building, commissioners suggested that department heads attend one commission meeting a month.

While Samson attends virtually every meeting, the other department heads attend only a few. Commissioner Beth Bell suggested setting up a rotation so they would only have to attend a meeting every month or two.

Post said he would look into developing a schedule for department heads.

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