Androscoggin County Commission votes to preserve county dispatching
Friday, May 18, 2012
LEWISTON — Androscoggin County commissioners ended a decade of debate Wednesday, voting 2-1 to maintain the ability to answer emergency calls and dispatch help in a county-run communications center.
All three commissioners — Beth Bell, Elaine Makas and Chairman Randall Greenwood — argued that citizens are safer when both jobs are done at a central communications hub.
Together, they rejected a plan by the town of Lisbon that would have closed the county's communication center, sent its dispatching to the Lisbon center and sent the call-answering function to one of the state's Public Safety Answering Points, known as PSAPs.
The plan, based on savings forecasts by officials in Lisbon, was widely endorsed by the county's small towns, including Greene, Sabattus and Durham.
Lisbon Town Council Chairman Fern Larochelle called it "a heck of a plan."
"It was a plan that not only saved the other communities money, but also, for the first time, showed savings for Lewiston-Auburn over a long period of time," Larochelle said.
Commissioners said they didn't agree with Lisbon's numbers and worried about the transfer of calls it would create.