Police & Fire

D-F officials revise accident billing rate schedule

DOVER-FOXCROFT — More than seven years ago the town of Dover-Foxcroft adopted an ordinance enabling the municipality to charge fees to non-residents and non-property owners involved in accidents which require certain specified responses by the fire and police departments. During a meeting on Monday evening, the select board approved a revised rate schedule for accident billing.

“Back in 2016 we adopted an ordinance that authorizes the town to bill for certain accidents,” Town Manager Jack Clukey said. Examples include hourly rates on scene if the fire department needs to respond with its engine or ladder truck and if passing traffic needs to be directed through the site.

Fire Chief Brian Gaudet said the rate schedule was brought to the select board’s public safety committee and then the full board “just so we are charging a more current set of rates for that program.” 

Under the various revisions the fire department’s pumper truck rate would go from $400 to $538 an hour and the ladder truck rate would increase to $590 from $500 an hour.

When asked, Gaudet said he believes Monson also charges under similar situations. “It’s more common than you think, it’s catching on in Maine,” he said.

The chief said the department responds to three dozen-plus accidents per year, with about half of these being non-residents/non-property owners.

Clukey said a billing agency collects for the town — for a percentage-based fee — with payments being made through the drivers’ insurance companies. He said this process brings in several thousand dollars a year to the town.

In other business, the select board signed the annual town meeting warrant for the referendum vote on Tuesday, June 13. 

Residents will be asked to approve a gross budget totaling $7,661,550. After $4,696,695 in revenues, a net amount of $2,964,855 would be raised. The three figures are all up from the current fiscal year.

Clukey said the town has worked with the snowmobile club to help the group leverage state funding for trail grooming and upkeep. Dover-Foxcroft will now also be working with the Dover Rovers ATV Club in a similar manner for dirt trail maintenance and construction.

He said under the state’s grant-in aid agreement, 90 percent of funding is provided in exchange for a 10 percent match through funding and/or in-kind work. Clukey said the Dover Rovers have a new section of trail by the Foxcroft Center Road which allows a portion of the travelway to be bypassed.

Clukey touched upon several items in his report.

He said the week before a preconstruction meeting was held with the paving contractor on the 2023 work. The contractor has other work in this area this season and expects no issues with the completion schedule. 

The town manager said the engineer for paving work is getting started on a 10-year sidewalk improvement plan to separate out local sidewalks for the sidewalks within the Maine Department of Transportation right of way. The plan will guide Dover-Foxcroft in terms of annual funding requirements for sidewalk improvements. 

Clukey is working with KMA Human Resource Consulting and he has requested the frim submit a proposal to do a compensation study for the town that will identify how it can establish a compensation structure to help remain competitive in employee recruitment and retention. The proposal should be ready for the next meeting on Monday, May 22.

Earlier in the day Clukey received a letter from the Maine CDC concerning a case of rabies found in a raccoon in town. “That’s something people should be even more mindful of,” he said.

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