Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department has ordered nine new vehicles in the last two years and only received one. On March 6, Chief Deputy Rand Maker told county commissioners he expects to receive one in early fall, and another in December. He is not sure when the department will receive three hybrid SUVs ordered last year.
Until new replacements arrive, the department is extending the “lives” of older vehicles. Sheriff Todd Brackett reported the supply chain problems result in the department extending older vehicles, which need additional maintenance. “We recently paid $2,000 to repair a vehicle with 143,000 miles,” he said. “These vehicles are usually rotated out prior to experiencing these costly repairs.”
But the sheriff has a solution to forgo future vehicle delivery delays. Brackett wants to start the bid process early, and commissioners approved his plan to solicit bids for three new 2024 vehicles. “We continue to be in a crisis situation. I believe if we get ahead of the process, it may result in a better outcome,” Brackett said.
During the commissioners’ meeting, Brackett announced Deputy Matthew Ryan’s promotion to detective. In May, he will replace Det. Terry Michaud who is retiring. Ryan will be replaced as a patrolman by Samuel Alexander who graduates from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in May. Commissioners approved a $3,000 tuition payment for Alexander’s tuition for the 18-week course.
Commissioners approved two requests for out-of-state travel. Communications Director Tara Doe is attending the International Academy of Emergency Dispatchers Conference in Denver. The conference provides enhanced training using emergency dispatchers’ fire and medical protocols. There is also leadership and morale-based training. Commissioners approved $3,667.77 which covers airfare, food and lodging for the April conference.
Dep. Jerold Winslow will travel to Jacksonville for a Drug Recognition Expert Training program. Winslow will spend April 4-8 learning intensive training techniques for detecting when a person is “under the influence” in non-alcohol-related incidents. Commissioners approved $1,168 for Winslow’s per diem, transportation, hotel, airfare and parking.
Commissioners referred a request for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding for affordable housing to Lincoln County Regional Planning Commission. Stepping Stone Housing, Inc. President Marilee Harris requested funding for a Damariscotta project. Stepping Stone is renovating the former Floor Magic building. Stepping Stone plans on refurbishing the building into a three-bedroom, two-bedroom and studio apartments. Harris said the nonprofit has $50,000 earmarked for the project, and requested $250,000.
Commissioners meet next at 9 a.m. Tuesday, March 20 in the courthouse.
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