Commissioners OK second dog for sheriff’s department

Fri, 07/05/2024 - 12:45pm

    Nearly four years ago, Bear, a German Shepherd patrol dog, joined Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department, and it won’t be long before another canine joins the staff. On July 2, Lincoln County commissioners approved spending up to $10,000 from the Heidi Fund to purchase a second dog. 

    Sheriff Todd Brackett reported the department is looking for a Labrador retriever as a “scent dog.” Bear and handler Sgt. Jonathan Colby will continue performing patrol apprehension duties. The new dog and handler Dep. Sam Alexander will work on drug searches.

    “This will enhance our ability with drug searches,” Brackett said. “We have more than ample funds built up in the Heidi Fund to spend between $7,000 and $10,000 on a new Lab and for training,” he said. 

    The Heidi Fund was established in 1994 when former Dep. Clayton Jordan’s service dog, Heidi, died after contracting a tick disease. Katharine Martin-Savage helped form the Heidi Fund, which has been used to buy new police dogs for the sheriff's department. The fund now has $27,591.40, according to Brackett. 

    The sheriff also received authorization to either sell a 2017 Ford Interceptor or transfer it over to the county. The cruiser has over 150,000 miles. “The county has some interest in it. We need to take it to Hillside Collision. They will let us know if we should transfer it to the county or put it out to bid,” Brackett said.

    In other action, Communications Director Tara Doe updated commissioners on the successful transition June 30 to a new Emergency Medical Services channel. She told commissioners the county received an $80,000 Maine Center for Disease Control grant to install the repeater system with a stipulation it be in place by July 1. The new system was tested and almost immediately it proved ready for an extremely busy day. “Boothbay had three calls in progress and Wiscasset was en route after hearing the call. There was no waiting for a mutual aid call,” Doe said. “As the system went live there were a few glitches, but we got everything worked out.”

    Lincoln County Regional Planning Commission updated commissioners on its grant-writing accomplishments for the year’s first six months. Executive Director Emily Rabbe reported her team had worked on 18 grants worth over $1 million as of  July 1. So far, eight received funding for nearly $394,000. “We’re still waiting on the bulk of the money, about $610,000 for a wide variety of projects,” she said. Rabbe expects to receive responses on the outstanding applications shortly with Maine Emergency Management Agency and Federal Emergency Management Agency grants taking longer with an expected response within six to nine months. 

    Commissioners approved a contract renewal between LCRPC and the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. Under the agreement, the commission receives $1,231 for planning support for inland communities. The services are for Somerville, Whitefield and Jefferson. The coastal community contract is delayed. “This is the larger of two contracts in dollar amounts. The delay is on the state’s side, and (the contract will) likely be ready by your next meeting,” Rabbe said.

    Commissioners approved ASK (assistance with specific know-how) Grants for Bremen Library and the town of Waldoboro. Bremen Library received a $2,500 grant to fund preparation for a topographical survey. Rabbe reported the library has experienced drainage problems following  heavy rains in past years. “The survey helps determine how to alleviate the situation by which way to pitch the grade away from the building,” she said. The survey will also be used in developing site and construction plans for a family gathering space.

    Waldoboro received a $2,500 ASK Grant for engaging a qualified asbestos engagement company to identify asbestos at the Hoffses house located on the former Sylvania site. “The town did a visual inspection. They are pretty sure there is asbestos shingle, mold and lead, but they need a qualified technician equipped to identify any hidden asbestos, and prepare a cost estimate for remediation.”

    Two LCRPC employees are heading to Stowe, Vermont for the Northern New England Chapter of Planning Association annual conference in October. Community Resilience Planner Laura Graziano is presenting at the conference. She will speak as part of a panel on using data and technology in tracking affordable housing. Curtis Brown is land use and transportation planner. He was hired April 29 and will also attend the conference. 

    Commissioners adjourned the meeting following an executive session regarding labor negotiations. Commissioners meet next at 9 a.m. Tuesday, July 16 in the courthouse.