Lincoln County commissioners began the new year by renewing a contract with a Brunswick hospital. Commissioners voted 2-0 to provide $160,178 in funding for Mid Coast Hospital’s addiction recovery center. The agreement includes a small funding increase. Sheriff Todd Brackett explained the funds pay for two full-time counselors. The funding increase is due to licensure for counselors who will now provide recognition and cognitive therapies. These services will be expanded to include one-on-one counseling follow-ups, said Brackett.
Commissioners Bill Blodgett and Hamilton Meserve approved the contract extension. Meserve agreed with Brackett’s program assessment. “This is a critical program, and I’m very proud of it,” he said. Commissioners also authorized Brackett’s request seeking bids for replacing a county vehicle damaged in a Dec. 24 collision. The sheriff also received approval to seek bids for the department’s vehicle service contract which expires in February.
Brackett received approval for two more requests. Commissioners unanimously approved $6,260 to buy four body cameras and $32,963.23 to pay Central Square of Lake Mary, Florida for record management. “At first, the record management fee was a bit alarming, so I investigated what similar departments, including Sagadahoc, paid, and discovered, we were getting a pretty good deal,” he said.
Commissioners gave conditional approval for a new patrol officer. Brackett recommended hiring Timothy Robinson of Brunswick who is currently employed as federal law enforcement officer at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery.
In other action, Emergency Management Agency Director Casey Stevens reported Waldoboro and Boothbay Region Emergency Medical Services have been chosen to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to county public safety personnel. Stevens is not sure when the vaccinations will begin. He also received authorization for three purchase orders. Commissioners approved $5,945 for tactical combat casualty care training and body armor for the county rescue task force team. Stevens said a Homeland Security grant will pay for the training. A $3,500 D4H (Decisions for Heroes) software purchase received approval. Stevens said the software was beneficial in storm and other weather-event preparation. Commissioners also approved $2,995 as part of the AM radio transmitter project. The transmitter is a 10-watt, low-powered transmitter which will serve as a back-up emergency communication system.
County Communications Director Tom Nelson received authorization for an “I Am Responding” contract purchase order. Nelson described the program as an electronic alert sent out to first responders and emergency medical service personnel. A cell phone app is the mechanism for participants receiving emergency notifications. “It is a great program, and we probably rely on it more than we should. In areas without good radio reception, it provides a vital service,” Nelson said. County fire, EMS personnel and three non-county towns’ personnel would use the app. The county entered into a three-year contract paying $15,225 to the provider.
The communications center now has a full compliment of 12 emergency communication officers. Commissioners conditionally approved hiring Richard Elder of Augusta pending a background check. He is expected to start Jan. 11.
Commissioners approved a one-year recycling contract renewal for non-county towns Pittston, Warren, Windsor and Georgetown, and Tri-County Solid Waste Management in Union with no fee increase. This is the second consecutive year participants have not paid an increase. County Administrator Carrie Kipfer reported last year the fee remained flat due to a level fuel price. This year, she attributed difficult financial times for not recommending an increase. “We had fewer runs in 2020 resulting from COVID and a rapidly changing recycling market. I think the combination all these different things, along with I don’t think our expenses will increase, why I make this recommendation,” she said.
The fees for each participant vary based on volume of recyclables, number of loads, distance and staff time. The 2021 rates are Windsor, $11,416.71; Pittston, $5,317.36; Warren, $13,957.06; Georgetown, $11,402.22; and Tri-County, $25,062.70.
Commissioners approved purchase orders for five Dell desktop computers without monitors for $2,685 and components to rebuild the recycling center’s baler conveyor belt gear box for $9,331. Commissioners also authorized hiring Abriana Delena of Windsor as the Juvenile Victim Witness Coordinator. Commissioners also opened and tabled bids for the recycling center’s 1995 Ford Packer. The county received two bids, $310.12 and $699.51. Kipfer said both bids were “well below what I expected.” She will contact another person who expressed interest in buying the truck.
The commissioners meet next at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 26.