Police & Fire

Commissioners approve financing package for sheriff’s department radio system

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DOVER-FOXCROFT — Earlier in the month the Piscataquis County Commissioners asked County Manager Tom Lizotte to collect proposals to fund an upgrade to the radio system for the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s to replace antiquated dispatch equipment with components dating to the 1980s. During a Sept. 18 meeting the commissioners approved a lease purchase proposal from Gorham Savings Bank for a total of a little more than $127,000 to be paid over five years.

Lizotte said at the Sept. 4 meeting a figure of $145,383 was mentioned by Dispatch Sgt. Gary Grant. For several years Grant has been working to upgrade the telecommunications division of the sheriff’s department through grants and funding sources outside the county the budget, totaling about $72,000 to bring the project cost down to $145,383.

The county manager looked at various capital reserve accounts and was able to find about $28,000 to reduce the $145,000-plus cost to $117,112. Lizotte said both Gorham Savings Bank and Androscoggin Savings Bank presented bids for the radio project.

“Gorham Savings Bank gave us an interest rate of 4.08 percent and Androscoggin Savings Bank gave us an interest rate of 4.06 percent, so almost identical,” he said.

“Commissioner (Jim) Annis said Androscoggin Savings Bank gave us an interest payment that would be slightly higher,” Lizotte said, despite the rate being slightly less. He said the difference in interest payments is about $1,000 with an approximate $10,000 for Gorham Savings Bank and $11,000 for Androscoggin Savings Bank.

As a result, the commissioners voted to go with Gorham Savings Bank for the lease purchase of radio equipment. The first payment will be made in January as part of the 2019 budget.

“I would like to congratulate all the departments involved in this, with the grants we saved a bundle,” Annis said.

In other business, Lizotte said, “The county budgets are both completed in draft form.”

He said now he will meet with department heads to go over the finances making up the county and unorganized territory spending plans. “Then I will present those documents to you Oct. 2,” Lizotte said to the commissioners.

Shortly thereafter the county budget advisory committee will start its work as the commissioners approved the nine committee members.

“We have, I think, a pretty good group with some new people and some veterans,” Lizotte said. “We will have our first meeting sometime the week of Oct. 9, probably the 10th or 11th.”

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