EMA to handle E-911 addressing services
DOVER-FOXCROFT — The county’s 911 addressing services will now fall under the jurisdiction of the Piscataquis County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) with EMA Director Tom Capraro serving as the E-911 addressing officer, after the county commissioners approved the restructuring during a Nov. 1 meeting.
“As you know Todd Lyford resigned as E-911 addressing officer,” Capraro said. “A lot of the 911 stuff you can pretty much do in your office,” he added, saying programs such as Google Maps can now be used to save a trip out in the field.
Lyford’s resignation was accepted by the commissioners last month, and talk then suggested these duties could be shifted to the EMA, which Capraro said handled E-911 addressing over a decade ago. Capraro said his agency could today handle E-911 services, at a reduced cost.
“I think we can cut the budget down to $4,000, which we can run out of our office and basically cut that budget in half,” he said, saying 20-25 requests for E-911 addressing are made at the county level annually.
“This will be a major step forward for our customer service,” Interim County Manager Tom Lizotte said. He said calls can now simply be transferred to the EMA office, rather than trying to track down the E-911 officer .
In other business, Lizotte reported that the annual public hearing on the county and unorganized territory budgets will be held on Monday, Nov. 28 at 7 p.m. in the commissioners’ chambers at the Peaks House at 163 East Main Street.
“It looks like we are in very good shape for the budget, this is the earliest we have ever been done,” he said. “Usually it’s done a few weeks into November.”
Lizotte said the estimated tax commitment for the county budget is down by 2.23 percent to just over $2,287,000 for the 17 towns and two plantations in the region. For more information on the county and unorganized territory budgets, please see Lizotte’s story on page 3.
The interim county manager said the budget committee passed a motion to establish a county-wide task force to address law enforcement needs and processes, specifically looking at defining patrol staff recruitment, coverage, mutual aid, communication, use of vehicles and contracts with towns. The group could be made up of seven to a dozen citizens, town managers and law enforcement personnel from across the area.
The commissioners are scheduled to discuss this item during their Nov. 15 meeting.
In his report, Capraro said recent rain has lessened the drought conditions and the impact on the supply for the Dover & Foxcroft Water District but he is still concerned.
“They still, I believe, also want to do an alternate source,” the EMA director said. The department is planning to lower the intake pipe at Salmon Stream Pond to account for the low water level, but having a well would be the vest solution for the community.
When asked, Capraro said to his knowledge the Dover & Foxcroft Water District is the only such entity coping with a water shortage.