PARIS — The Oxford County Commission authorized the purchase of up to six vehicles for the Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday.

Emerson Chevrolet of Auburn was the low bidder for the Chevrolet Tahoes at $39,117 apiece or $234,702 for all six.

The price does not include money from trade-ins. Oxford County Sheriff Christopher Wainwright said his department would clean up the vehicles and offer them in a separate sale. He said he expects to get $10,000 per vehicle.

Others bids were submitted by O’Connor Auto Park in Augusta and Quirk Chevrolet of Bangor.

Commissioners enacted the 2021 county budget of $11.7 million as presented by the Budget Committee plus a 1 % overlay.

Commissioners also ratified three collective bargaining agreements with dispatch supervisors, line staff dispatchers and corrections officers.

Agreements with the dispatch supervisors and line staff, which were negotiated with the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, provide a 3% increase in the base pay scale. Corrections officers, represented by the National Corrections Employee Union, agreed to a 5% pay increase in the first year and 3% the remaining two years.

The contracts run from Jan. 1, 2021, to Dec. 31, 2023.

With the county jail in Paris expected to convert from a 72-hour holding facility to a full-service jail July 1, 2021,Wainwright and jail Administrator Dana Dillingham asked commissioners to request bids to provide food service and medical service — two areas needed to become a full-service facility. Commissioners approved the request.

With the coronavirus pandemic creating a huge backlog in the court system, the average stay for Oxford County inmates has risen from 99 days to 136 days over the past several months.

“It’s causing a huge strain on the budget,” Dillingham said. “It will hinge on the DA’s Office and the court.”

Treasurer Beth Calhoun noted that revenues are way up in the deeds and probate offices. As of Nov. 30, revenues for the Register of Deeds was at 127.7% of budget, while Probate Office was at 104.6%.

She noted the county received $410,000 from the state for the county jail, which was 72% of the requested finds. She does not expect a huge deficit by year’s end since the jail has kept costs down this year.

The county was hoping to receive $700,000 from the supplemental budget.

Calls for service remain high in the Sheriff’s Office. The patrol division has responded to 12,300 calls for the year, Wainwright said, compared to 10,800 at the same time last year.

In other business, commissioners:

• Reclassified 15-year employee George Curtis to maintenance supervisor.

• Authorized posting for a new dispatcher for the Regional Communications Center.

• Agreed to increase the hours for the clerk in the District Attorney’s Office from 20 to 25.

• Commissioner Timothy Turner of Buckfield will serve another year as chairman of the commission.


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