MILO, Maine — A third option for police protection was explored in depth Tuesday by Milo selectmen.
Over the past few weeks, selectmen have discussed a collaboration with the town of Brownville and rebuilding the Milo Police Department.
This week they discussed a proposed contract with the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Department.
Ever since former Police Chief Michael Poulin and Sgt. Terry Smith resigned, town officials have been contemplating what avenue would be best for the town. The options will be presented to residents during a public hearing before a town meeting vote is scheduled on the matter.
“There’s a lot of issues that came up [in the discussion with county officials]. The biggest one is the union,” Milo board Chairman Richard Mullins said this week. He said he hoped to have the matter of police protection settled by the end of August.
To make sure all options are covered and the expenses are known, town officials are proceeding to search for a new police chief. Applicants for the position have been narrowed to six people, according to Mullins. Interviews of the candidates will begin later this month.
On Tuesday, Piscataquis County Sheriff John Goggin and County Manager Marilyn Tourtelotte explained a draft contract covering the scope and cost of services the Sheriff’s Department could provide Milo.
The proposed contract of $177,330 offered by Goggin and Tourtelotte includes $152,330 for wages, $10,000 for overtime, $1,000 for uniforms, $11,000 for fuel and $3,000 for vehicle maintenance. However, it was stressed that these are approximate costs subject to change since the county’s deputies are unionized. The town also would be expected to transfer ownership and title to its police cruisers to the Sheriff’s Department.
In exchange, the county would provide the town with three full-time deputies who would live within the Milo area and would cover day and evening shifts.
Selectmen questioned the county officials in depth about the sheriff’s contract with the town of Guilford. In that contract, the county provides the officers but the town pays the officers’ salary and the town furnishes a cruiser.
Other questions by selectmen centered on finances, which will be clarified when Piscataquis County commissioners meet with selectmen later this month. The commissioners plan to hold their July 21 meeting in Milo and will meet with selectmen to discuss the proposed contract after the meeting.