County preparing to relocate dispatch center

DOVER-FOXCROFT — The process to move the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center from cramped conditions in the Piscatquis County Jail in Dover-Foxcroft into the administrative unit of the sheriff’s office in Guilford has begun.

The Piscataquis County Commissioners learned a bit more during a meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 6. County Manager Mike Williams said a presentation on the project by Old Town-based project architect Vicki Leavitt needed to be moved back, likely to the next meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 20.

In the meantime, Head of Maintenance Josh York said his department has been busy preparing for the dispatch center move with a great deal of work remaining.

Sheriff Bob Young thanked the maintenance department for its efforts.

Last fall after opting to table a decision on the dispatch center project the commissioners voted to proceed with a $668,944 bid from Ganneston Construction — the lowest of three bids received.

In other business, Piscataquis County Emergency Management Agency Director Jaeme Duggan said the region has received a Presidential Disaster Declaration from the mid-December wind and rain storm. “The work is just beginning now,” she said.

Damage assessments for communities in the region have started and all this information will be reviewed to determine reimbursements to then be distributed in 12-18 months as is standard practice.

Duggan said the storm aftermath has pushed back the planning process for the April 8 eclipse but preparations will be ready in time for the solar event in two months.

Around 3:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Monday, April 8 the moon will be fully in front of the sun for a total solar eclipse, after leading up to the event starting at around 2 o’clock that day. Among the best viewing spaces in the country will be Piscataquis County and other parts of Maine to the north with thousands of visitors projected to be coming to the region for the event.

Duggan said an exercise has been conducted with Northern Light Mayo and CA Dean Hospitals and meetings with police chiefs will be taking place. She said coordination is ongoing with Penobscot and Somerset county officials, mentioning Jackman in northern Somerset County is one of the Maine towns that will be situated in an ideal eclipse viewing location.

“There should be enough ice for fishing but we’re getting an awful lot of warm daytime temperatures in the next few days, so safety’s an issue,” Duggan said, mentioning upcoming scheduled ice fishing derbies.

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