Lincoln County Commissioners

Fire chiefs pursue training facility

Posted:  Wednesday, July 12, 2017 - 8:15am
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Newcastle Fire Chief Clayton Huntley spoke to the Lincoln County Commissioners on behalf of the Lincoln County Fire Chiefs Association site committee July 11.

The committee is looking for a space to lease or buy for a Lincoln County Fire Training Facility on Route 1.  The group has outgrown its Huntoon Hill, Wiscasset site and needs about four acres to train all departments at once. The committee seeks a space that has public water and sewer, Huntley said.

Huntley said the Huntoon Hill facilities are quite old and, due to the hard use they get, at least one is starting to crumble; the other, a trailer the Alna Fire Department got in a Homeland Security grant, could be moved to a new site.

A lot of money has been put into the Huntoon Hill site, Huntley said. “But we decided as an association that any future large expenditures should go toward a new, permanent facility.”

Huntley floated the idea of county land being used, an idea the commissioners gave some consideration to. “We do have that lot over by the jail,” Mary Trescot said. “It would depend whether Sagadahoc County would be a part of the association, I guess.” The land by the jail is jointly owned by Sagadahoc and Lincoln counties, and was bought when the land for the jail was bought.

Huntley said anyone along the Route 1 corridor who may have land to sell or lease at a reasonable cost should contact him. “We don’t have a lot of money, and we don’t charge a lot for the trainings. Some of our mission will be grant-funded. But anyone who would be interested in selling or leasing to us to help firefighters in Lincoln County and beyond train to do their jobs should give me a call.” The station’s number is 563-3888.

The Sheriff’s Department provided a purchase order for the new Dodge Charger approved last month. The jail count for Sagadahoc and Lincoln counties continues to remain low as more people are diverted out of jail while waiting for trial. Nineteen Lincoln County and 26 Sagadahoc County inmates are currently housed at Two Bridges Regional Jail; the rest of Lincoln County’s 103 pre-trial accused are awaiting trial at home, being supervised by the Sheriff’s Office or Maine Pretrial Services, at a savings to the county of more than $10,300 per day.

Even so, the jail is largely filled with federal inmates and ones from Waldo, Kennebec, Oxford and Knox counties, for a total of 153 inmates.

Chief Deputy Rand Maker said the new security system would soon go into effect, and may cause some disruption and require people to enter other doors while it is being installed. The cost was reimbursed by the state.

New protocols for Lincoln County fire departments will go into effect in October, after training with Communications Center personnel. Half of the departments and one from Kennebec County have already attended at least one meeting. The new protocols are necessary due to changes the state made in how the departments report fire incidents, including new software everyone will use.

A flag disposal box has been placed in the courthouse to allow people who wish to dispose of an American flag to do so. When the box fills up, it will be taken to one of several agencies in the county who perform a flag disposal ceremony on Flag Day, which is June 14.

Commissioners approved sending the jail $2,359 from court surcharges and fees. They also approved the final purchase order for the Registry of Deeds microfilm duplication, from acetate to polyester, which does not degrade. The final cost was $5,495.

Christine Poland was approved as the Midcoast Maine Community Action representative for the county. Harold Spetla was selected to be the Lincoln County Regional Planning Commission’s new development specialist. He has experience with GIS mapping; he starts July 19.