Commissioners award bid for dispatch center relocation

DOVER–FOXCROFT — After opting to table a decision on a project to relocate the dispatch center from cramped conditions in the Piscatquis County Jail in Dover-Foxcroft into the administrative unit of the sheriff’s office in Guilford, the Piscataquis County Commissioners opted to go with the low bid of three during a meeting on Nov. 21.

The commissioners voted to proceed with the $668,944 bid from Ganneston Construction. The other submissions were $763,750 from Sheridan Construction and a $876,215 proposal from Dunbar & Brawn Construction.

Twice last year the commissioners put the project out to bid. The decision was made to attract more affordable contractors and in December 2022 the commissioners opted to try again in the fall of 2023 to see if material prices would come down.

On Nov. 7 the commissioners opened the three project bids but opted to not make a decision to award the project until potentially the next meeting. In the meantime more information on the three contractors was gathered to help make for a more informed decision. Commissioner Paul Davis said he wanted to have more information on each firm, such as references.

When asked during the Nov. 7 session, Old Town-based project architect Vicki Leavitt said she has worked with all three contractors previously and she said all are reputable.

In May 2022 county officials were told the project would require repair work on a portion of the building’s exterior that will cost several thousand dollars extra. Water damage to the mortar on the exterior of the sheriff’s office could add $26,000-$30,000 to the total cost.

Leavitt noticed issues with the brickwork during her survey of the building. There was concern about bolting into the brick, but a mason assessed the building and thought it won’t be an issue.

In other business, County Manager Mike Williams said the budget committee had five items members wanted to send back to the commissioners for them to make a decision on. 

A public hearing is set for 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 27 and Williams said the figures for the proposed 2024 county budget and 204-25 unorganized territory budget will be based on the figures the budget committee ended with at the last meeting on Nov. 2. The commissioners could potentially adjust the items sent to them.

“Probably on the 5th you guys can make decisions on what you want to change in the budget,” Williams said. He said the commissioners and budget committee would meet on the evening of Dec. 6 to go over the adjustments, with the next night being a snow date.

He said a special commissioners meeting would be scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 12 to vote on the two budgets.

The commissioners voted to move forward with a flag pole purchase to replace the pole currently atop the complex building, funds are available in a capital account.

Head of Maintenance Josh York said a site on the county campus could have two poles — one for the American flag and other to fly the state and county flags — and all the installation work would cost between $13,500 and $17,000 with lighting capabilities included. 

York said the flagpole installation could possibly be done in 2023, depending on if the ground is frozen and contractor availability. If not, then next spring would be the time.

The commissioners also approved an extreme temperature plan which is an annex to the Piscataquis County Emergency Operations Plan. 

Piscataquis County Emergency Management Agency Director Jaeme Duggan said this plan has been updated for the first time since 2017. “That’s basically our response to disaster, manmade or natural,” she said.

Duggan said the region is experiencing more heat events, ice storms, and extended power outages than in the past and the emergency operations plan has been updated in conjunction with the CDC with many towns doing likewise.

Staff Writer Valerie Royzman contributed to this story.

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