MEDWAY, Maine — Medway will begin seeking alternative police services after rejecting a draft proposal from East Millinocket to increase that town’s annual police-coverage fee by $20,500, town Administrative Assistant Kathy Lee said Tuesday.
With Selectman Rob Farrington absent, the Board of Selectmen voted 4-0 on Monday to give East Millinocket 60-day notice that Medway would not accept the proposal from the town to pay $110,000 annually for police coverage, Lee said.
Selectman David Dickey told board members that the town lately has “not been getting our patrol needs met,” though good coverage had been provided in the past, Lee said. Lee said she didn’t know why that might be.
“I think they have had a hard time with [retaining] their reserves,” Lee said Tuesday.
East Millinocket Police Chief Garold “Twig” Cramp did not return a message seeking comment on Tuesday.
Medway lacks its own police force. It has for many years contracted police services with East Millinocket, the closest municipal police force. The last increase in police service fees came in 2009, Lee said, when Medway agreed to pay $89,500 instead of $85,000.
Selectmen Bruce Cox and Galen Kimball agreed to investigate options, Lee said. The options include state police, who post an officer in the Howland area, and the Penobscot County Deputy Sheriff’s Department, which patrols Mattawamkeag and Chester, among other areas.
State police and sheriff’s deputies come through Medway regularly on their way to other areas they patrol and to back up police and fire services when needed.
Lee said she didn’t know whether the selectmen’s vote meant that contracting with East Millinocket’s police was no longer an option.
Cox and Kimball could not be reached for comment.
Earlier, selectmen had considered combining the Medway and East Millinocket volunteer fire departments as part of an effort to replace retired Medway Fire Chief John Lee, increase training opportunities and volunteer membership and decrease costs for both departments. That effort appears to have been shelved.