Commissioners approve four new SUVs for sheriff’s department

Wed, 06/17/2020 - 4:00pm

In a split decision June 16, Lincoln County commissioners approved four new SUVs for the sheriff’s department. Two weeks earlier, commissioners received five sealed bids from Maine dealerships for new patrol SUVs. Commissioners asked the sheriff’s department to review the bids and make a recommendation. After analysis, Sheriff Todd Brackett recommended buying two 2021 Ford Interceptors from Darling’s Ford in Bangor for $32,679 each and two 2020 Dodge Durangos from Newcastle Chrysler for $28,589 each. Brackett explained the Interceptors were designated as two primary patrol vehicles. The Fords will have more equipment than the Dodge Durangos, which the sergeants would use. 

Brackett expects to receive the vehicles in December or January. He said the coronavirus delayed vehicle manufacturing for a couple months. 

Brackett also asked to seek a Dirigo Safety grant for underage drinking prevention education. Dirigo Safety is a Maine professional law enforcement and workplace safety training provider. Last year, the sheriff’s department received a $3,700 grant for underage drinking prevention programs. Commissioners voted 3-0 authorizing Brackett to seek another grant of up to $5,000. “We use the grant for on-premise checks at bars, retail establishments and mom and pop stores. There is a little bit of both enforcement and training which is all covered by the grant,” Brackett said.

Lincoln County Communications Center has two new faces filling out its 12-person emergency room staff and the sheriff’s department has one deputy departing. Commissioners approved New Hampshire resident Jennifer Gosselin for conditional employment beginning July 6 and Kathleen Sullivan of Boothbay Harbor beginning Aug. 3 as emergency dispatchers. Nelson reported both hires are conditional based on a criminal background check. Brackett also announced Scott Peterson resigned to take a job with the National Guard base in Augusta. “Scott has been with us for less than a year, but he will be sorely missed,” Brackett said. “He took the National Guard job at a substantial pay increase while waiting to hear back from the FBI about a job. He is in the final stage of the hiring process.”

Commissioners renewed a contract between the communication center and four Kennebec County towns. The center provides Pittston, Randolph, Farmingdale and West Gardiner with emergency dispatching service, The annual contract includes an 8.74% increase. County Administrator Carrie Kipfer told commissioners the rate increase matches the percentage rise in the communication center’s overall budget. A contract between Lincoln County Regional Planning Commission (LCRPC) and state Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry was extended. The contract was to expire June 30, but the coronavirus resulted in several  projects being delayed. “We haven’t made as much progress due to staff changes and working from home so we are asking to extend the contract through the year’s end,” said Executive Director Mary Ellen Barnes. 

Commissioners approved a Lincoln County Historical Association request not to open the museum and old jail in Wiscasset for 2020. The association is required to open both to the public for two months a year. “They are asking the commissioners to waive this requirement for this year due to so many volunteers susceptible to COVID-19.” Kipfer said.

This was the last scheduled telephone conference commissioners meeting. Commissioners will meet in July and August at the LCRPC  office. Kipfer said she hopes the commissioners could return to meeting in the courthouse later in the year. The next meeting is at 9 a.m, Tuesday, July 7.