County seeks examine proposals for radio techniques for public security

DOVER-FOXCROFT – The next step was in a process of resolving longstanding communication problems for the county fire department and police force when the county commissioners officially wrote a letter on September 15th asking for suggestions for a study on a public radio system Security Approved Meetings.

DOVER-FOXCROFT – The next step in a process was taken to resolve long-standing communication issues for the The county fire brigade and police force officially approved a letter during a meeting held on September 15, asking for a call for proposals for a study on a public safety radio system. Problems include circumnavigating the hilly terrain and upgrading or replacing obsolete equipment. How exactly the problems will be resolved is determined by the feasibility study.

Tom Capraro, director of the Piscataquis County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) said, “We had a meeting, a couple of meetings with the county firefighters and police,” so they could provide feedback on the multi-page letter. Capraro said other meetings would have the Piscataquis County’s Sheriff’s Office Assistant Director Todd Lyford and Dispatch Sgt. Gary Grant go through the document.

“The highlights are that these proposals should be in place by October 30th and that the contract should be completed by June 30th, 2021,” said Capraro. “We have 30 days to decide who to choose if everyone meets our expectations.” He said the work would start in mid to late November, giving the selected company about seven months.

The EMA director said the objectives listed include meeting with yourself, Lyford and Grant, and emergency personnel from across Piscataquis County to review communications systems and investigate current and potential locations. The study would identify upgrade costs, future recurring costs, and the feasibility of a simulcast system. Another area to investigate may be the relocation of the sheriff’s shipping center from prison to the new department building in downtown Guilford.

Observer Photo / Stuart Hedstrom
BETTER COMMUNICATIONS – Piscataquis County officials have launched a call for proposals for a study of public safety radio systems to solve longstanding communication problems for the area’s fire and police departments.

“Everyone can hear it. So if something bad happens, everyone can be aware of it,” said Capraro, saying this is not always the case with calls at the moment.

He said nine radio companies had been identified, four in Maine and five outside of the state. “I’m ready to bring this out the next day or so,” said Capraro.

“Let’s do everything and get it right,” said Joe Guyotte, Dover-Foxcroft Fire Department chief. “Let’s not do it all over again, piece by piece.”

During a meeting in August, Capraro said his predecessor asked him to work on a feasibility study for communications. For about $ 23,000, Massachusetts-based Macro conducted a study that estimated that it would take about $ 780,000 in 2008 to completely improve the county’s communication skills. “The money wasn’t there to spend,” Capraro said, estimating that a 2020 study last month could be in the range of $ 40,000 to $ 50,000.

Lyford says the feasibility study funding is not included in the current sheriff’s budget. It is therefore necessary to determine how the expenses will be covered – for example exclusively by the district or distributed across different departments. When asked by Commissioner Jim Annis, Lyford said that any new system, both analog and digital, is far too expensive to be a realistic option.

The commissioners officially approved the letter, and Chairman Jim White said, “We will publish it for six weeks and see what we get.”

In other business areas, district officials met with representatives involved in the project to revitalize the ski facility on Big Moose (Big Squaw) Mountain outside Greenville.

“There’s no question how important ski mountain is to not just the Moosehead region but the entire county and state,” said Steve Levesque, president of the Moosehead Lake Region Economic Development Corporation.

Project advisor Perry Williams said work has been underway for two years and the property is under contract to be sold. “We were looking for the right kind of funding to bring this back to life,” he said.

The slopes have been open for the past few winters, but Williams said most of the infrastructure needs to be replaced.

He said a tax-free municipal loan would allow a home purchase this fall. “It comes with 1,700 acres and that includes roughly everything on the left hand side of the access road,” Williams said, saying another dozen acres would be added nearby on Moosehead Lake as a potential future marina location.

“Our plan is to make it a year-round four-season attraction,” said Williams. He said the chairlift would be replaced, the new model could cut the time to the top in half from 13 to six minutes. The base lodge would be demolished and replaced by a 60-room hotel with a brewery bar and conference room. The snowmaking facilities would also be improved.

Williams said a zip line from the summit to the base operates in the warmer months, as does the nightly “astro-tourism” chairlift at the top for star gazing.

“Much of our plan is designed for four seasons and gives birth all year round,” he said, mentioning condos being built around the mountain.

“We’re going to need a lot of housing for workers,” said Williams. “We’re talking about 300 year-round jobs that include 100-150 construction jobs. It’s a big project, an exciting project with a lot of economic activity. “

George Campbell of Treadwell Franklin Infrastructure, who served as a city administrator in Greenville in the 1970s, said the project investment, excluding the residential component, is around $ 68 million.

“We’re here because Project # 1 is alive and well, despite what people are going to tell you,” said Campbell. “The second is to give you some information.”

He said the Moose Mountain project is a Special Purpose Entity (SPO) and needs a resolution from the governing body whose appointees are in the disorganized area. Campbell said the resolution would specify community benefits.

Campbell said the Maine Treasury will issue bonds on behalf of Provident Funding and other subscribers. “That will pay for the $ 68 million we need to build and base this area,” he said. “You are not taking any responsibility for the debt at all.”

“For us, this project has everything to be successful,” said Lee Umphrey, president and CEO of Eastern Maine Development Corporation. He said local support is important and, after residents spend a day in Greenville, uncertainty about earlier starts and reboots of the mountain is uncertain, but support is coming from the community.

“The Eastern Maine Development Corporation is fully committed to this and we will do all we can,” said Umphrey.

“I can’t underline how important this is to the region’s economic vigor,” Levesque said, saying that the Prum Creek Resort and residential development projects did not go ahead. He said the goals of Big Moose development were “not only to grow the economy, but also to preserve the people of the city and region”.

“I’m very happy about it, the region is booming as it is,” said Annis. “I think this is a great project and I recommend that you take it on.”

“I think we would like to work with you on this solution,” said Levesque.

The commissioners will consider a proposed assistance document and send it to a lawyer and could vote at a future meeting.

“We’re going to change the name of the mountain itself,” said Williams. He said the community would be involved in this process.

Williams also said a pending lawsuit between the state and the current owner would be closed upon completion of the sale. “The goal would be to open for skiing in one year, Christmas 2021,” he added, with construction going beyond that period.

In his report, Capraro said that due to the summer drought, the U.S. Small Business Administration had disaster loans available for economic injuries for operations in Piscataquis, Penobscot, Somerset, Aroostook, and Washington counties.

“If you’ve had any damage or loss after July 7th, you have the option to apply until May 4th, 2021,” said Capraro.

Loans can be up to $ 2 million with interest rates of 3 percent for small businesses and 2.75 percent for nonprofits with a term of up to 30 years. For more information, see

Capraro said he hadn’t heard of dry wells in the area, but he’d suspect there are some so far.

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