Jail administrator to negotiate short-term contracts
Sagadahoc County Sheriff Joel Merry said Sept. 13, the Two Bridges Regional Jail Authority has missed several opportunities for short-term contracts with sending jails due to the slow process of approving the contracts. Part of the problem is the contracts have to be approved by the full authority, and that can take more than a month, depending on the time of year.
At the meeting, the authority decided to give the jail administrator more flexibility to approve short term contracts. In cases where the short term contracts match the existing contracts, the administrator can negotiate the contract himself; in cases where there is any deviation, he can negotiate the contract in concert with the chair of the authority. In either case, the contract must be short term – no longer than 30 days – and must be approved afterward by the full authority. The votes were unanimous.
Authority Chair Mary Trescot announced she would resign at the end of the year. She did not offer a reason. In an email Tuesday, Trescot told the Wiscasset Newspaper that authority member Charles Leadbetter will become vice chair. Trescot will work with him to take over her duties on Jan. 1, 2018.
Also leaving will be Jeff Peters, the authority’s attorney. He was planning to leave at the end of the year, but accepted a job out of state, and will have to leave by Nov. 1. Peters will craft a request for proposals to send out to other attorneys who work with nonprofits and jails. The Authority is hoping to have the proposals back by Oct. 15 to select an attorney before Peters leaves. A special meeting will be required by the end of October.
A planned discussion to approve or deny the request by ReVision Energy to become the sole source for a solar project at the jail was tabled. ReVision Energy is hoping to engineer and build a $1 million solar array on property owned jointly by Sagadahoc and Lincoln counties, adjacent to the jail. The jail’s policy is to have multiple bids for a project of more than $5,000, but in this case, ReVision would not be accepting money from the jail, but instead, from a third-party investor. The jail would participate with the third party in a power purchase agreement, and would ultimately purchase the system back from the investor. ReVision would not wish to participate and do all the engineering of the project unless it had assurance that it would get the work to build the system. A letter from Peters with his opinion about the sole sourcing issue had arrived, but the authority had not yet reviewed it, so the discussion was put off until November.
An executive session to “discuss the appointment, assignments, or duties of an individual” was held. No action was taken afterward. TBRJ is still operating with an interim jail administrator, James Bailey, since the retirement of Mark Westrum.