Police & Fire

Sheriff’s office adds to vehicle fleet

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DOVER-FOXCROFT — As part of the regular rotation for replacing older department vehicles the Piscataquis County Commissioners approved the purchase of a 2017 Ford Police Interceptor for $28,041 from Quirk Ford of Augusta, during a Jan. 2 meeting.

Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Bob Young said the Ford Police Interceptor will replace an aging, high mileage department vehicle and is the same model as is currently being used by the county law enforcement agency.

“This vehicle is a year old, it’s a hold over,” Sheriff John Goggin said. “It’s still a brand new vehicle.”

Young said as a result of the volume of police vehicles the dealership bids out across Maine, Quirk Ford is able to offer low prices. “It’s there, it’s ready to go — probably sometime this week,” he added about the vehicle being delivered.

“This is actually $7,000 less than the sticker price,” County Manager Tom Lizotte said about the $28,000-plus being paid for the 2017 Ford Police Interceptor.

Commissioners Vice Chair Jim Annis said he wanted the public to know that whenever possible, county officials try to go with local businesses for equipment and services.

In other business, Goggin — who has previously said he will not be seeking reelection — said the new year would be his last as sheriff after first being elected to the position in 1990. Goggin said in his final year before retirement he has been thinking of the sheriff’s office and one idea for 2018 may be to bring forward another proposal for a new department complex to replace the current cramped and outdated facility.

“It may be time to do something like that again,” he said. Goggin mentioned how a proposed sheriff’s building was on the referendum ballot across Piscataquis County in 2015 and he said the vote was not turned down by a significant margin.

Funding for an amount of up to $610,000 to finance the construction of a new Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Office building at the intersection of East Main Street and School Street on the county campus was voted down by a total of 1,427 to 1,323 votes — a different of 104 out of 2,750 ballot cast or just under 4 percent.

Goggin said several years perhaps county officials perhaps could have worked more to explain the need for a new building to the public. “I think we owe it to our own department to do something like that,” he said.

“I think it’s been a great year in 2017 and I would like to see great year in 2018,” the sheriff said. “I think everyone has contributed to that.”

Last month the commissioners agreed to extend the timeline to receive bids for the construction of an exercise roof yard at the Piscataquis County Jail after only one bid was received.

Lizotte said he contacted the contractor. “They understood your decision and agreed with it and asked to keep their bid in the hopper,” he said.

Bids for the exercise yard roof as well as renovations to provide more room at the district attorney’s office on the first floor of the courthouse are due on Feb. 2 and the commissioners are scheduled to open submissions at the Tuesday, Feb. 6 meeting.

The county manager also said a pair of presentations are scheduled for the next commissioners’ meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 16. Piscataquis County Economic Development Council Executive Director Chris Winstead will speak on the efforts to increase broadband Internet access in the region. Dover-Foxcroft resident Steven Grammont, who also serves on the town’s board of selectmen, will inform the commissioners about a regional food center and helping food cupboards better serve residents in need.

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