N-95 masks on way to Lincoln County towns

Tue, 05/05/2020 - 5:00pm

    The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has created a shortage of available personal protective equipment, but Lincoln County is on track to receive 141 ENVO N-95 masks. Emergency Management Agency Director Casey Stevens announced the department was buying masks in bulk for towns. Each mask cost $128 and municipalities would reimburse the department. On May 5, Lincoln County Commissioners approved using emergency funds to front the purchase. Stevens estimated the total cost around $11,000. Commissioners voted 3-0 in approving up to $15,000 to cover purchase expenses.

    “As you may already know, PPE is already in short supply. We’ve found a way to purchase these masks at a reduced price which saves money for the towns, and they will repay us upon delivery,” Stevens said. The masks are designated for emergency medical technicians, hospitals and clinics. Fire departments are not involved in the initial bulk purchase. An anonymous donor has expressed interest in buying ENVO N-95 masks for local fire departments. “We are waiting and will do a separate purchase for fire departments,” Stevens said. “I’m waiting to hear back from the anonymous donor and that will likely happen later this week.”

    In other action, commissioners unanimously approved two purchases for the sheriff’s department. Commissioners authorized buying 25,000 rounds of ammunition for fall range qualifications. The county seeks bids annually, and this year received three. Commissioners accepted the low bid from T.J. Morris & Son in Thorofare, New Jersey for $8,973.80. A second purchase was approved for GPS and alcohol monitors for the county home monitoring program. The department is buying three alcohol monitoring and three GPS devices from Securus Monitoring Services of Houston for $5,700. Sheriff Todd Brackett reported a federal correction-based grant will be used for the purchase.

    The sheriff’s department is also hiring two new deputies from Penobscot County. Michael Godin of Orono is a recent University of Maine graduate. He has no previous law enforcement experience. Brackett reported Godin will begin as a part-time officer as he begins his training program. Godin will become full-time upon completing his training. The second hire is Eze Van Buckley of Bangor. He works as a part-time officer for Millinocket and Bucksport police departments. He begins as a full-time officer. 

    These two hires leave the department one shy of a full roster. Brackett explained a third applicant “didn’t do so well on his background check.” 

    Lincoln County Communications Director Tom Nelson received approval for creating a rock garden in memory of Kathy Bladgen, a 36-year communications department worker and supervisor who died in November. Nelson requested authorization for a $2,160 landscape quote. Nelson explained Blagden loved lighthouses and birdhouses. “There will be a birdhouse shaped as a lighthouse. We will have a ceremony honoring her service after the social distancing restrictions end,” he said. 

    Lincoln and Sagadahoc counties reached an agreement with Two Bridges Regional Jail Authority to lease two acres for 25 years. The lease will for a TBRJ Authority solar project. The lease is for $1 per year. Commissioners also approved an installment plan for county taxes for Waldoboro. The town will pay its county tax in six equal installments with the last on the September 2020 due date. The county also received a $200 payment in lieu of taxes from Maine Coast Heritage Fund. The group uses an island which is an unorganized territory, off Bristol. Commissioners also approved a change in how liquor licenses are approved. The new policy designates the county administrator to appoint a person in charge of granting liquor licenses for unorganized territories like Monhegan Island.

    The commissioners meet next at 9 a.m. Tuesday, May 19.