Androscoggin County commissioners balk at price of HVAC upgrades

AUBURN – The Androscoggin County Fee was strike with a sticker shock on Wednesday when they had been introduced with a three-fold improve in the value of modernizing the heating, ventilation and air conditioning for the county courthouse and jail.

A 2019 review set HVAC renovations in the getting older facility at $ 2 million. The expenses presented on Wednesday had been $ 6.47 million, $ 1 million extra than County Administrator Larry Article estimated two weeks ago.

Submit cited two causes for the maximize – the enhance in development fees and the addition of central air in the constructing. Central air was not involved in the 2019 estimate.

The cash for HVAC renovations would arrive from the $ 22 million the county is slated to acquire from the federal bailout invoice.

The need to have to update the procedure has been debated for the previous two years, but the scale of the undertaking that was revealed to the commissioners shocked them. The commissioners only understood on Wednesday evening that the job will involve upgrading the HVAC system at the unexpected emergency management company in the basement of the central hearth station at College or university St. 2 in Lewiston.

Commissioners puzzled if they could lawfully shell out everyday living-preserving objects earmarked for the county on a creating owned by the city of Lewiston.

Lewiston Commissioners Noel Madore and Mechanic Falls’ Terri Kelly asked the Board of Directors to return the merchandise for dialogue at a workshop with a person from Allied Engineering who drafted the proposal.

“We don’t have to rush with this, specifically considering the value,” stated Madore.

Lewiston’s Commissioner Roland Poirier added that the Board desires to comprehend the scope and thoroughness of the project.

Whilst a determination on this undertaking was remaining postponed, the commissioners authorised the funding of 5 tasks with existence-preserving tools.

Initial on the record was $ 291,366 for 24-hour professional medical care in jail. The district only gives 12 hour service a day.

“We are the only jail our size that doesn’t have 24-hour care,” claimed prison director Major Jeffrey Chute.

The county jail just lately been given a excellent rating on its biennial point out inspection, but the report pointed out the absence of 24-hour wellbeing care for inmates.

The jail must get inmates to a clinic crisis home outdoors of opening several hours. 24/7 clinical treatment would lower this have to have.

“It is really a possibility not obtaining anyone listed here at night time,” claimed Chute.

Right after questioning no matter if the professional medical service could be offered for much less cash, Wales Commissioner Isaiah Lary required to postpone the vote on the proposal right until the Committee on Budgets could consider it, as it would not commence right up until January 1st. The other commissioners did not consider it required and voted 6: 1 to approve the ask for for expenditure.

Commissioners voted 5-2 to quickly devote up to $ 50,000 on a demo assistant in the prosecutor’s office environment to tackle the backlog brought on by the pandemic that shut the court to jury courts for several months.

Andrew Boulanger, who was hired as litigation assistant past November, not too long ago handed the Maine bar exam and is awaiting a history test from Massachusetts to total the lawsuit and be sworn in as an legal professional. The money will help Boulanger to carry on performing as a scholar assistant in the meantime. Lary and Kelly opposed the measure.

Staff members in the district obtain a reward for their perform for the duration of the pandemic. Every comprehensive-time staff receives a bonus of $ 5,000, although portion-time personnel obtain a pro-rated reward if they have worked additional than 400 hrs. Lary was the only commissioner to oppose the $ 557,500 bonus just after his colleagues failed to assist his modification not to give the reward to elected officers these types of as the sheriff, estate register, and county administrator.

District commissioners do not get the bonus.

The board supported two extra spending ideas – up to $ 75,000 for new computer system software program for the treasurer’s office environment and $ 173,134 for renovating the estate office.

Treasurer Clarice Proctor stated Androscoggin County is the only county on the east coastline that makes use of a application procedure developed for school programs. Reporting grants are not processed nicely and databases can not be shared or put together.

The estate cash would pay for new flooring, workstations for workers, shelving, a new camera technique for the courtroom, and the removing of a risk-free.

Equally proposals were accepted with 6: 1 votes, Lary in opposition to.

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