SABATTUS — Selectmen on Tuesday night examined possible changes in emergency dispatch services and electricity providers to save money.

The board compared the cost and effectiveness of dispatch services now provided by Lisbon with those provided by the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office and Lewiston-Auburn 911 center.

Town Manager Tony Ward said preliminary figures from the Sheriff’s Office show an anticipated three-year savings of $22,000 over the current contract with Lisbon, not including any potential costs for data migration, virtual servers or prepaid license agreements.

Ward said Lisbon officials are not interested in lowering their current rate, while L-A 911 officials are still compiling their offer.

Police Chief Gary Baillargeon said he supported the Sheriff’s Office’s offer, not only because of the lower cost, but because he anticipates faster response times and greater manpower from the county service.

Fire Chief Marc Veilleux had reservations about changing services, saying the system is working favorably for the Fire Department and the department has had positive experiences with Lisbon’s dispatch services over the years.

The board agreed it wouldn’t benefit public safety to split dispatch services between two carriers. Members urged Veilleux to arrange a meeting with the Sheriff’s Office to tour its communications center and compare services. The board took no further action on the issue and will revisit it at a later time.

The board also discussed cost differences between electricity service provided by Champion Energy Services and Central Maine Power. CES is expected to save the town approximately $869 for a 12-month contract and about $1,800 for an 18-month contract, according to Ward.

The board asked Ward to research CES’s reliability and experience with other municipalities and return with more information.

In other board action, Sheila Wetherbee was hired for the police force and appointed detective sergeant. Wetherbee, who officially began on Feb. 22, previously worked as a patrol officer, an investigator and a canine handler for the towns of Cumberland and Yarmouth. She also spent three and a half years as an investigator with the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force in Cumberland County and founded the nonprofit International Police Survivors organization, which provided support for families of police officers in governmental missions overseas.

Chief Baillargeon said Wetherbee will be an asset to the force and said he was impressed with her recent handling of a major sexual assault case.

Ward reported that the development of the fiscal year 2016-17 town budget is proceeding as anticipated and that he expects work on recommendations for each of the town’s “cost centers” to be finished by March 24, after which selectmen and Budget Committee members will begin their deliberations.

It was also announced that a stretch of Pleasant Hill Road will be overhauled starting April 4. Crooker construction will do most of the work, which will involve lowering the elevation and reducing the curvature of the road. Work is expected to continue until the end of June or early July, and drivers were cautioned to expect delays.


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