Brownville-Milo selectmen to look at county proposal for police protection

Posted Sept. 16, 2011, at 5:37 p.m.

DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — Preparing for another tough economic year ahead, Brownville Town Manager Matthew Pineo is scrutinizing each of his department’s operations in an effort to further reduce costs, including law enforcement coverage.

Pineo has asked Piscataquis County Sheriff John Goggin to submit a proposal for police protection in his community to compare the costs with his department’s operation. Pineo has invited Milo Town Manager Jeff Gahagan to do the same.

“What we’re looking at is the creation of a sheriff’s substation that would basically perform coverage on this side of the county to see if it’s cost-effective for the towns of Brownville and Milo,” Pineo said Friday.

Goggin said Friday that he recently submitted a draft proposal for his department’s services to each of the town officials. “I gave them just something to start from. It’s a starting point for something for all of us to sit down and have a very serious conversation about and see where we go from there,” he said.

Milo selectmen plan to discuss the proposal at a meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20, at the town hall, and Brownville selectmen are expected to discuss the matter at a meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, at the town office.

It’s not the first time the towns have considered a contract with the county. Several years ago, they sought and obtained contracts from Goggin, but in the end, the two communities decided to keep their own departments.

If the towns want the coverage, Goggin said his department’s budget would increase, even though each of the towns would be required to pay a contract fee. Such a change would require the approval of residents in each town and the approval of the Piscataquis County commissioners.

“We’re just in the midst of budget preparations for next year and we’re trying to look at all different avenues,” Pineo said. “That’s part of my job, to try to look at where we can save money.”

Since Pineo arrived on the job May 1, he has implemented energy improvements in town buildings, tended to necessary renovations and encouraged the residents to spruce up the community, all at little cost to the community, thanks to the assistance from Charleston Correctional Facility inmates. If the town had hired out the work, it would have cost about $60,000, he said.

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