Maine county authorizes K-9 obstacle course

$500 from the sale of a dog cage will be used to buy material to build a K-9 obstacle course behind the Sheriff's Office


By Donna Perry
Sun Journal

FARMINGTON — Franklin County commissioners voted Monday to authorize the sheriff to use the $500 from the sale of a dog cage to buy material to build a K-9 obstacle course behind the Sheriff's Office.

The money from the cage that was no longer needed was put into the county's general fund in June. The sheriff had requested it be put into the K-9 account.

Board of Selectmen Chairman Gary McGrane said at the time that the Sheriff's Office could come back to request the money for the course when they were ready.

Lt. David Rackliffe has priced out material for the course at $589, Sheriff Scott Nichols Sr. said.

The course will be built where the old shooting range is located, Rackliffe said after the meeting.

“The plan right now is to have three window jumps, three fence jumps, an 'A-frame,' a trestle, a suspended bridge, a low crawl and several small culverts for the dogs to learn how to handle different obstacles,” he said.

Commissioners also voted during the meeting to hire two full-time corrections officers and a reserve officer. The county had conducted interviews and oral boards.

The new officers are Brian Rundlett of New Portland, currently a certified corrections officer from Somerset County, and Kirsten Flewelling of Dover-Foxcroft, who is moving to Temple soon, Nichols said. Flewelling is a certified corrections officer from Piscataquis County.

Amber Ryan of Eustis was hired as a reserve officer. She is not certified, Nichols said, but she will be scheduled to attend the first training school when it is available.

Commissioners also granted Nichols permission to seek bids on two new cruisers.

The county's Budget Advisory Committee cut funds in June for one of three cruisers proposed in the $5.79 million budget for 2015-16.

The committee finalized the budget in July, and overrode the commissioners' revised budget that added more funds to Western Maine Community Action and the Greater Franklin Development Corp.

In other matters, commissioners approved $4,250 for the county audit to be done by R.H.R. Smith & Co. of Buxton.

The audit does not include the jail, McGrane said. That will be separate and the cost will be $4,250.

Commissioners also voted to accept $41,140 from the state's Local Road Assistance Program for roads in the unorganized territory.

County Clerk Julie Magoon also updated commissioners on the process to fill the District 2 commissioner's seat. Commissioner Fred Hardy of New Sharon died July 2 after being ill for several weeks.

Magoon said the Franklin County Republican Committee is expected to meet on Monday, July 27. The committee will send at least three names to the governor to consider for appointment to the elected position until the next general election.

Names of people that have expressed interest in the position are Ryan Morgan, Peter Tracy and Charlie Webster, all of Farmington, and David Archer of Chesterville, state Sen. Thomas Saviello, R-Wilton, previously said.

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