April 01, 2020

Piscataquis County awarded grant funds

DOVER-FOXCROFT – Piscataquis County is one of the luckier counties to have received a federal grant to reimburse some of the costs of incarcerating federal criminals.

Piscataquis County commissioners announced at their Tuesday meeting that the sheriff’s department had received a grant of $22,514 for incarcerating foreign nationals over the past year.

The county was one of 414 counties out of 3,350 counties in the country that was eligible for the federal grant funds.

“I think we should be proud of their efforts,” Commissioner Gordon Andrews said of the sheriff’s department.

Sheriff John Goggin, who did not attend the meeting and was contacted later, said Maine sheriffs were assisted this year in acquiring the funds by a Dallas, Texas, consulting firm. He said Justice Benefits Inc. locates and accesses hard-to-find federal reimbursements for local and state governments. The firm will be paid 22 percent of the $22,514 grant funds for administrative costs.

JBI recognized that Piscataquis County boards a lot of federal inmates at its facility and therefore was eligible for these funds, Goggin said.

Most of the foreign nationals held at the jail were there for immigration violations, he noted. The federal inmates aren’t necessarily arrested in Piscataquis County.

In other business Tuesday, the commissioners took under advisement a request from Warden Donald Annis of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to designate a snowmobile trail on the shoulder of the Blanchard Road for about 1.2 miles in the town of Blanchard.

The commissioners agreed to get the approval of the Department of Transportation and to check with District Attorney R. Christopher Almy to determine if there were any liability issues.

A request from Duane Lander of Lander Construction of Greenville for a fuel adjustment in his contract for winter maintenance in the unorganized townships of Little Squaw and Big Squaw and Harford’s Point was tabled for consideration.

While they were aware the price of fuel oil has increased, the commissioners were concerned that all contractors be treated fairly.

Lander wrote that the increases in fuel have made significant changes in his plowing needs. He mentioned that Greenville’s price of sand had increased by at least $2 a yard.

“I almost feel they should have taken this into consideration when they bid,” Commissioner Tony Bartley said.

The commissioners also scheduled their last meeting of the year on Dec. 27. The county budget will be adopted at this meeting.

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