FARMINGTON — Franklin County deputies will earn more if they work special details for the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety or Operation Stonegarden programs, which are funded by federal grants.

County commissioners voted July 11 to raise the hourly rate from $35 to $50.

The billing rate for the grants will be $61.82 an hour to cover the cost of associated expenses, including FICA, workers’ compensation and Maine state retirement. The Sheriff’s Office is reimbursed mileage at a rate of 44 cents per mile, the federal rate, to cover cruiser expenses, Lt. David Rackliffe told commissioners.

Operation Stonegarden is a cooperative effort among the U.S. Border Patrol, Customs and Border Protection and local law enforcement agencies.

The grant pay is comparable to that of Maine State Police, the Maine Warden Service and the Farmington Police Department, he said.

When the Sheriff’s Office set the hourly rate at $35, it was on par with other departments, Rackliffe said. The Sheriff’s Office has had a difficult time filling the special details, which usually occur between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m., Rackliffe said.

The grants cannot be used to subsidize a regular shift. Deputies are paid a different rate for other details.

Farmington police officers are paid $50 an hour for the grant details, said Bonnie Pomeroy, secretary of the Police Department. Jay police are paid $40 an hour.

Androscoggin County deputies are paid a flat rate of $37 per hour unless their overtime rate is higher, Chief Deputy William Gagne of the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Department said. If it is, they will get their overtime rate. If someone works overtime to cover another shift for a deputy on vacation, they are paid their regular overtime rate.

The reason for the flat rate is that they don’t know who will work the details when they submit grant applications, he said. The bill-out for the details is $49 an hour.

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