Oxford County Commissioners meet in December 2019. From left are Steve Merrill of Norway, David Duguay of Byron and Tim Tuner of Buckfield. Jon Bolduc/Sun Journal file photo

PARIS — Oxford County and the state have reached an agreement on maintenance of the new courthouse that will eliminate a county position, Administrator Tom Winsor said Thursday.

Commissioners got details during their Thursday afternoon meeting via Zoom.

Winsor said one county maintenance employee will be laid off.

According to a Memorandum of Understanding between the state and the county, the state will not pay the county to lease the space on Western Avenue. However, it will pay for telecommunications, electricity, heating system repairs and maintenance, custodial costs, and elevator maintenance and permitting costs. The state and county will split the cost of parking lot maintenance, snow removal and fire alarm testing.

“I took the position … the county shouldn’t be put in the position of subsidizing the state’s cost,” Winsor said. “A year from now, we’re going to have an opportunity to relook at this.”

Joan Kelley of Hartford, speaking as a member of the public, said changes would lead to the termination of a worker hired specifically to clean the space now under the auspices of the state court system.

“Why did you go through the hiring process before something was completed?” she asked commissioners.

Winsor said that after the courthouse officially opened in February, a maintenance worker was needed but a proposal to keep the worker was not accepted by the state.

Commissioners David Duguay, Steve Merrill and Chairman Timothy Turner voted unanimously to accept downsizing the maintenance department and were required to acknowledge the layoff.

“We look at everything,” Turner said. “Tom came to us with his decision and his logic behind it, and that’s why we need to acknowledge that.”


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