DA’s office looking to replace investigator vehicle

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DOVER-FOXCROFT — The Piscataquis County Commissioners authorized district attorney’s office staff to purchase a replacement vehicle for Investigator Scott Arno to use, during an Aug. 20 meeting.

Office Manager Corina Rackliff said Arno’s current vehicle, 2008 Ford Explorer with over 92,000 miles, has been experiencing age-related issues off and on for most of the year. “It’s just old,” she said, saying Arno has been researching a replacement after being given approval by District Attorney Marianne Lynch.

“It’s really starting to nickel and dime us,” Arno said.

The district attorney’s office has $15,000 in a vehicle capital account. He said the remaining purchase costs could come from another account containing $10,000.

Arno said Yankee Ford has a 2017 Ford Taurus with approximately 14,000 miles. “That will last several years and we can build up our vehicle capital account,” he said.

“They have priced it at $18,354 out the door,” the investigator said. “It’s on their lot now and at that price we’re not sure how long it’s going to last.”

Arno said the price is about $3,000 below the book value, and he said he will look at the vehicle in person before proceeding with a purchase.

In other business, County Manager Michael Williams said his predecessor Tom Lizotte was in recently to assist with the development of the 2020-21 Unorganized Territory budget.

Williams said the preliminary spending plan is up by 1 percent from the current year’s total of $1,756,657. “That’s tentatively as there are a few more pieces for that,” he said.

The county manager said he has spoken with Guilford Town Manager David Wilson about having access to the Guilford Medical Building for an inspection of the structure. “That should be done within the next week or so,” Williams said.

To alleviate cramped conditions and lack of privacy inside the main sheriff’s office in the same larger complex as the Piscataquis County Jail on Court Street in Dover-Foxcroft, in the spring of 2018 the patrol and investigation divisions of the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Office moved up Route 15 to Guilford at the former primary school building. The law enforcement space previously was the home of the SAD 4 administrative office suite.

With the school building for sale county officials are working with the town of Guilford on an agreement to rent and then purchase, following an affirmative vote at the annual town meeting in mid-March, the C.H. Lightbody Medical Center on Park Street. In April Mayo Regional Hospital closed its primary care office in Guilford after experiencing significant provider turnover in the previous year and a half. Guilford Medical Associates was housed there via a lease with the town.

Earlier this month, the commissioners voted to relocate the patrol office starting in November.

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