FARMINGTON — Franklin County commissioners voted Tuesday to table a request for up to $500,000 to buy a new computer-aided dispatch and record-keeping system for emergency services in order to gather more information.

They tabled a request from Salem Fire Department in Salem Township to get more information, and removed requests from Healthy Community Coalition, LEAP and SeniorsPlus. Commissioners approved $20,000 for the Farmington Grange to support maintenance projects. The Grange hall has a commercial kitchen that is used by community groups. The commission also approved $107,497 for county courthouse upgrades, including basement sills, replacement windows, a fire alarm system and heat pumps.

A group of county public safety emergency responders requested in March that commissioners reserve $500,000 from the county’s $5.86 million allotment of American Rescue Plan Act funds for the countywide system. Commissioners agreed.

An estimate for the CentralSquare Pro system, which is part of Information Management Corp., is about $700,000 to $800,000, Jay Police Chief Richard Caton IV told commissioners Tuesday.

The county’s current Information Management Corp. program, known better as IMC, is not going away but is not expected to get upgrades in the future, he said.

Commissioners signed an agreement with the corporation in 2011 to get the system for the Sheriff’s Office and dispatchers. The first program was paid for by a 2009 Federal Emergency Management Agency Interoperable Emergency Communications Grant.


“It was implemented in 2012,” Simoneau said.

The current system does not have a jail module to enter data in, county Lt. David Rackliffe said in March. The system keeps records of calls to dispatch, law enforcement, fire services and other emergency systems, he said.

Commissioners want to know how much could be used from the county’s tax increment financing funds, dedicated to the unorganized territory, to offset the $500,000.

Sue Pratt, the county’s ARPA program administrator, said the unorganized territory makes up 50% of the land mass in the county.

It means that possibly half of the $500,ooo could come from TIF funds.

Charlie Woodworth, an administrator of the county’s TIF program, said he has a call into the state about it.


The county Emergency Management Agency applied for about a $113,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that also could be used to lower the price, Amanda Simoneau, deputy EMA director, said. They will know in the fall if they get it.

The system would not be implemented until 2024, according to Simoneau.

In addition to the grant, the towns would continue to pay maintenance fees for the program, which is estimated to be about $92,000 per year. Some of the county’s unorganized territory TIF funds would lower the overall cost, Caton said.

The CentralSquare software program is more user friendly than another one they looked at for about $1.8 million, Simoneau said in March.

The group needs to have an answer on funding to move the project forward so a customized system would be built to meet the needs of Franklin County, Simoneau said.

Once the county decides on funding, the group will be able to get a firm number for the new system.


The Salem Fire Department is requesting $154,800 for turnout gear, essential worker stipends, security, new doors and running water at the fire station, cargo trailer and more.

The building and property currently does not belong to the fire department. A representative of the department said the property is expected to be transferred from the owner for $1 to the Salem department.

Firefighters on the department are volunteers and not paid for their service to cover 24 square miles including Mt. Abram High School. If a fire were to break out at the school, mutual aid towns would also come to assist, said firefighter and interim Commissioner Bob Carlton of Freeman Township.

County Administrator Amy Bernard said she would like to see the roster and training records to see who needs turnout gear. If the firefighters are paid, the Bureau of Labor will most likely come in to do an inspection to see what training there is and see if the department meets the Bureau of Labor Standards. She told a department representative that there is a BOLS voluntary program that would allow them to see where any deficiencies may be and how to remedy it to come into compliance with the standards.

Franklin County commissioners are responsible for the fire department, county commission Chairman Terry Brann of Wilton said, but he is reluctant to invest public money into property they don’t own.

Commissioners voted to table the request and will take it up again on the condition the property is transferred to the department and Bernard gets the roster.


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