PARIS — The Oxford County Commission agreed Tuesday to spend up to $125,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds to upgrade the county’s server capacity with a cloud-based system that will save the county money down the road.

The cloud-based storage system would cost a little more up front but would save about 15% over three years, county Administrator Donald Durrah said. It would eliminate upgrading the entire network every two to three years, and the only future cost would be licensing fees.

It would also bring Oxford County up to today’s standards, Durrah added.

Commissioners Timothy Turner of Buckfield, Steven Merrill of Norway and David Duguay of Byron unanimously approved the expenditure.

The board also approved a proposal from Connectivity Point Design and Installation of Auburn to install an audio-visual and conferencing system in the commissioners’ office and meeting room that will allow the county to hold Zoom meetings and possibly record them. The proposed system will allow meetings to still be held with public participation if the pandemic forces the county to close its building to nonemployees.

Opening up the meetings to more members of the public would increase transparency in how the county functions, Durrah said.

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Featuring a 98-inch television screen, a ceiling microphone array and six in-ceiling tile speakers, the system would also have the capacity for expansion, depending on the county’s future needs.

The federal money would pay the $54,740.28 for installation.

Commissioners approved the promotion of Lisa Mack as office administrator in the District Attorney’s Office, replacing Mariah Castonguay, who recently resigned. Chelsea Dutil was reclassified as a clerk/receptionist in the office. Commissioners also authorized posting a notice for a legal secretary.

Other personnel action included Travis Witham moving from part-time to full-time corretions officer. Commissioners also accepted the resignation of part-time corrections officers Hartley “Skip” Mowatt and Tammy Thomas.

According to Jail Administrator Dana Dillingham, the state was requiring Mowatt to attend the criminal justice academy for corrections, despite his 28-year career in law enforcement, including serving as police chief in Paris. Unable to find the time to attend the academy in the past year and only working a few days per month, Mowatt resigned.

Sheriff Christopher Wainwright said he is working with the state on receiving additional jail funding to cover a $700,000 shortfall from what had been expected from the state.


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