FARMINGTON — Franklin County commissioners voted Tuesday to allow Jail Administrator Doug Blauvelt to advertise for bids to replace the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system at the jail.

The system has to be replaced and updated, County Clerk Julie Magoon said.

Mechanical Services, which has several offices around Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, drew up the specifications for a new system, Magoon said. The company has a contract with the county to provide maintenance on the existing system. The money for the project will come from the jail’s capital reserve account.

Commissioners also agreed to hold a Spirit of America Volunteer Award Ceremony in January 2017 for recipients selected by municipalities to be recognized.

The Spirit of America award is given to volunteers or organizations for outstanding community service, said Bruce Flaherty, a representative of the Spirit of America Foundation.

Many towns recognize recipients at town meetings. Some counties also hold ceremonies.


This year, Chesterville, New Vineyard, Wilton and Kingfield have selected people or organizations to receive the awards. Kingfield is expected to make the presentation to the recipient by the end of the year, Flaherty said.

In 2015, Wilton recognized Patti Foss who while delivering the Sun Journal saved the lives of a couple suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning; Tom Saviello who served as a selectman and helped a variety of charitable causes over the years; and Kendall and Theodora Sawyer who have done much for the Wilton Scholarship Foundation and Western Maine Play Museum.

The award was inspired by former Gov. John McKernan, Flaherty said. The Spirit of America Foundation is a public charity established in Augusta in 1990 to honor volunteerism.

Among the counties that have held or plan to hold ceremonies are Washington, which held its ceremony. Cumberland and Oxford counties are in the process of considering dates for ceremonies, Flaherty said.

Magoon said she would like to hold the ceremony for Franklin County 2016 recipients in January 2017, and also recognize the 2015 recipients.

It will be held during the commissioners’ second meeting in January.

“It will give us time to work on a certificate,” Magoon said.

There will be four recipients in 2016, Flaherty said. Emails were sent to towns inviting them to pick Spirit of America award recipients and there was a deadline to respond, he said.  

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