Commissioners extend contract with Moosehead Rubbish for five years

By Bill Pearson
Staff Writer

    DOVER-FOXCROFT — The county commissioners want to extend their contract with Moosehead Rubbish of Greenville to provide services for the Lily Bay transfer station until 2018. The board voted 2-1 on March 5 to enter into the deal without putting it out to bid.

    Moosehead Rubbish will continue to operate the facility and transport trash to Penobscot Energy Recovery Company, Waste Management in Bangor or to Juniper Ridge in Old Town. The board decided to accept Moosehead Rubbish owner Sean Bolen’s offer to extend their arrangement for five years without increasing the price. The company will continue to receive $45,000 per year to operate the transfer station and $20,000 per year for transportation.
    County Manager Marilyn Tourtelotte indicated the growing trend among municipal and county governments is to enter into longer term deals. She also reported that when the contract last went out to bid in 2010 Moosehead Rubbish made the only offer.
    “It’s a good deal for us and we’ve been happy with their service,” Tourtelotte said. “The five-year contract is new, but it helps the contractor to purchase equipment. Their purchases are made on a five-year loan agreements. So the longer term fits better with their ability to plan long range.”
    Commissioner Fred Trask voted against extending the contract with Moosehead Rubbish. He favored putting the contract out for bid.
    The agreement won’t be finalized until both parties sign it.
    In other action, the commissioners also hired two new dispatchers for the telecommunications department. The board unanimously approved the hiring of Brent Magnus, of Dover-Foxcroft, who has worked in the Piscataquis County Jail since 2007, and Julius Murano, of LaGrange, who is a certified dispatcher with Hancock County Sheriff’s Department.
    Both are expected to begin their training this month. Magnus needs six weeks of training to the learn telecommunication unit’s responsibilities. Murano will train for four weeks to be cross-trained for duties within the Department of Corrections. Sheriff department officials requested to hire two people to fill the current vacancy and for an anticipated opening in April.
    The board also made a decision in a Guilford property tax abatement case. The commissioners voted 2-0 with one abstention to deny the abatement requested by William and Eileen Ebbeling. The couple believed their 2012 property assessment should have decreased based on the town reducing the first-acre value by $2,000. Town officials denied the Ebbelings’ appeal because their property valuation had been set by the county in 2009.
    The Ebbelings successfully appealed a 2009 ruling by both the town and county in superior court. A judge ruled that the county needed to provide a more detailed explanation why the abatement was denied. The commissioners ultimately decided to reduce the Ebbelings’ property value which has remained unchanged since the decision.
    Trask believed the county should have done more to challenge the court decision. He voted against reducing the Ebbelings’ property value in 2009. This led him to abstain from voting in the 2012 appeal.
    “I agree with the town of Guilford’s position on the current abatement request. We stepped in four years ago and set a property value without specifying what the land and building were each worth. Since the valuation was set by the county then the town has no say in valuation.”
    The commissioners also agreed to send a letter to the United States Department of Agriculture in support of the Center Theatre’s grant request. The theatre has applied for funding to purchase new digital projector equipment. The film industry is moving toward switching entirely to digital technology. Theatre officials indicated to the county that over 85 percent of theatres nationwide have switched to the new format. If the Center Theatre doesn’t follow suit then in a few years they wouldn’t be able to show movies.
    The commissioners will meet next at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 19 Peaks House county office building.

Get the Rest of the Story

Thank you for reading your4 free articles this month. To continue reading, and support local, rural journalism, please subscribe.