Sheriff’s Department considering satellite location in Boothbay

Posted:  Sunday, April 15, 2018 - 8:45am

A sheriff’s department office may be coming to a location near you.The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department is considering opening a satellite office in Boothbay. Sheriff Todd Brackett and Lt. Brendan Kane discussed the proposal April 11 during the selectmen’s meeting.

Under the proposal, the town would provide space for a deputy in the municipal office. According to Brackett, the deputy would spend a few hours a week with hopes of building up to half a day, and then a full day. The office space would allow deputies to finish reports, conduct interviews,  access department records and transmit data. Brackett doesn’t forsee a major expense in equipping the municipal office for department use. The county would cover any costs to prepare the space.

The department has considered opening a Boothbay satellite office for years. Brackett told selectmen he’s wanted to increase the department’s presence within the peninsula for years. He cited changing demographics and increased traffic as factors in wanting a stronger peninsula presence. From 2006 to 2017, the county’s record management system shows an increased Boothbay peninsula call volume from 1,517 to 3,047.

“As we watch the region grow, my goal is establishing a greater presence in the peninsula. We think this will be a good thing not just for Boothbay, but for Southport and Edgecomb, too,” Brackett said.

Town officials told Brackett and Kane they believed the proposal was a great idea. A satellite office would likely be located in space currently used by the tax assessor and harbor master. Town Manager Dan Bryer said the municipal building has plenty of space for a satellite office.

“That office isn’t used much. We can move the tax assessor into the main office and harbor master usually uses it only for a few minutes after the office closes,” Bryer said.

This would be the sheriff’s department’s first satellite office. In past years, it has had substations in Bremen, Jefferson and Boothbay. But in each instance,  deputies had no internet access. Brackett didn’t indicate when the department may establish a satellite office in Boothbay. The sheriff’s office and town officials would work out the logistics together.

In other action, the West Harbor Pond Association reported it would conduct a watershed survey beginning in June. West Harbor Pond is located entirely inside Boothbay Harbor, but a portion of the watershed is in Boothbay. Association President Leslie Volpe told selectmen the survey would include 15-18 Boothbay properties near Campbell Stream.

The association needs a survey as part of its 319 Grant application. The association is seeking funding from state and federal agencies to improve soil erosion and stormwater runoff pollution problems. A siphon built in the 1880s is the major source of the pond’s environmental problems. Volpe believes the survey will help identify other problems and assist the association in submitting its grant to the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Environmental Protection.

A 319 Grant provides 60 percent of funding and requires a 40 percent applicant match. The association will conduct the watershed survey, create a watershed management plan this fall, and apply for the grant next spring. “Once the survey is done, we will know what needs to be done and how much fundraising is needed,” Volpe said.

Selectmen heard a request from Fire Chief Dick Spofford about purchasing more equipment. Spofford requested a $2,200 remote control system for the automatic garage doors at the central station, $4,800 to install automatic doors and a remote control system at the East Boothbay fire house, and a $4,800 new furnace for the East Boothbay station. 

Selectmen told Spofford all three items could be funded from the capital improvement fund in the next fiscal year. Selectmen weren’t so sure about a fourth request. Spofford requested a new truck which would replace two older ones. He requested a truck with a five-man cab and four-wheel drive. The one-ton truck costs $45,000 and would replace a brush and utility truck. Both used vehicles are over 10 years old and were purchased from the Boothbay Region Water District.

“The new truck would replace used ones which are pretty beat up. It would also save us a man because all the equipment would transfer to the new vehicle,” Spofford said.

Selectmen encouraged Spofford to seek a request for proposals on a new truck. The board will meet next at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 25 in the municipal building conference room.

The accompanying video of the meeting was provided by Boothbay Region TV.