ELIOT, Maine — Town Manager Dana K. Lee asked the Select Board Thursday to amend a new three-year contract for police and fire dispatch services with Kittery.
Lee said he wants a first-year opt-out because of problems Eliot has had with the Kittery dispatch center.
He said he discussed the contract with Police Chief Elliot Moya and Fire Chief Jay Muzeroll. He added exit interviews with police officers leaving the town revealed problems including the attitude of some dispatchers.
Lee’s letter to Kittery Town Manager Kendra Amaral outlined his concerns, mostly that the quality of dispatching may not improve. He proposed Eliot's contract with Kittery have the first-year opt-out if things do not improve.
Lee asked for improvements in the attitude and professionalism of some dispatchers, improvement in records management, better quality assurance, development and implementation of policies and regular meetings to discuss quality assurance.
The cost assessment is $108,360 in the first year (2019-2020) plus $13,645 for capital costs for the implementation of Emergency Medial Dispatch, for a first-year total of $122,005. Year 2 would be $123,360, and year 3, $138,360.
Chief Moya said newly hired officer Timothy Niehoff has experience with dispatching and Lee said Niehoff could help with the talks with the Kittery dispatch contract.
The board supported Lee's letter to Kittery.
Public Works Director Joel Moulton submitted an abatement worksheet to the Maine Department of Labor for recently cited violations. Most were safety and safety training issues solved with new training programs and new equipment.
Moulton offered bids for a new Public Works garage truck exhaust system. He recommended the lowest bid by Palmer and Sicard in Exeter, for $12,390. Since the bid is higher than the $8,400 budgeted, the Select Board decided to wait until the end of the fiscal year to evaluate the DPW budget before approving a contract.
Moulton asked the board to approve a “desktop evaluation” of the King’s Highway sewer force main by Underwood Engineers, as a “sole source.” His request was approved.
He updated the board on stormwater engineering proposals for the Spinney Creek and Hobbs Circle projects. He recommended Sebago Technics of South Portland, for $19,000, approved by the board 5-0.
Moulton also offered as informational a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System annual report on the town’s compliance with its MS4 permit to the state Department of Environmental Protection. An MS4 permit authorizes direct discharge of stormwater associated with a regulated small municipal separate storm sewer system to MS4 waters of the state other than groundwater. Lee said some towns are not in MS4 compliance and he commended the town and its boards.
Planning Board Chairman Denny Lentz said his board has four of five regular seats filled and only one of two alternate positions. He said he will soon lose another regular member due to pregnancy. In addition, members have families and sometimes take a night off.
“That board operates most efficiently with five voting seasoned members,” Lentz said, adding it takes years for a new member to learn the ropes.
Lentz said if board meeting attendance is too low, with construction season upcoming, he’d close the meeting, even if there is a quorum. “It’s too difficult to sit there with three people and try to deliberate,” he said.
He said he can appoint the alternate as a regular at each meeting, but the Planning Board could be in trouble soon. He asked the Select Board to do something. Lee asked the Select Board to think of people to reach out to who might serve.
There are also openings on the Adult Retail Cannabis Committee, Cable Television Committee, Capital Improvement and Energy Commission, Clean Water Committee and Conservation Commission. To apply, call Lee at (207) 439-1813, ext. 107 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.