Media Archive

Software, hardware system approved for Piscataquis County

Article from Bangor Daily News, Wednesday, February 08, 2006

By Diana Bowley
Staff Writer

DOVER-FOXCROFT - Piscataquis County commissioners on Tuesday approved purchase of a software and hardware system that will integrate the county budget into the accounting system.

The commissioners voted to purchase a Trio system costing $14,828 and to fund it through the contingency account. Although the final bid was not the lowest of four submitted, a committee of department heads who reviewed the county's options supported the Trio system. The lowest cost was for a Sage system at $8,850.

"What we're looking at is a one-time cost to get the county set up with a system everyone can use," interim county manager Owen Pratt said Tuesday. The fact that the Trio program is used by more than 250 municipal governments was a selling point. It also helped that the system can be implemented with existing staff.

"It's a giant step forward from the one we've been dealing with," Commissioner Tom Lizotte said.

Payback of the new system will be in two years because some of the county treasurer's workload will be done by the commissioners' staff, according to Pratt. Instead of paying the county treasurer $23,000 a year, the commissioners can reduce it to $9,000 to $10,000, he suggested.

The move to change systems comes at a time when a new treasurer will be elected. Donna Hathaway, a certified public accountant who operates her own business and who has served as treasurer, reportedly has told commissioners she will not seek re-election. Since the possibility exists that a person could be elected who has no accounting background, the move to bring the accounting practices back into the county office seemed logical, according to commissioners.

In other business, the commissioners learned that an older-model all-terrain vehicle, compressors and an assortment of other equipment confiscated by Piscataquis County deputies during drug raids will be offered for sale to employees in the Sheriff's Department and jail during a silent auction.

The proceeds will be used to purchase leather jackets for deputies, Piscataquis County Sheriff John Goggin told Piscataquis County commissioners Tuesday.

Items forfeited by those convicted of drug crimes include a water pump, tools, an air compressor, a water pump motor, an all-terrain vehicle made in the late 1980s and firearms, Goggin said.

The county has no policy on disposal of equipment confiscated during drug raids, but items turned in to the Sheriff's Department that are never claimed typically are sold at a public yard sale, Goggin said outside the meeting.

The commissioners were told that forfeited items seized during drug raids will be offered for sale first to employees in the Sheriff's Department and jail. If there is no interest among the employees, the items will be put up for public sale, the sheriff said.

Goggin said later that the sale should provide enough money to purchase the leather jackets. He said he has wanted to provide the deputies with leather jackets for several years but the funds were never readily available. The jackets are the warmest a police officer can wear, he said.

"Content above originated in the edition noted as a copyrighted article and is posted here with permission of the Bangor Daily News."

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.