Towns continue animal control discussions

LAMOINE — The Lamoine Select Board July 21 discussed further developments in the possibility of creating a shared animal control officer position for multiple Hancock County towns.

This possibility was discussed earlier at a June 28 Select Board meeting, where board members looked for possible solutions to fill a vacant animal control officer position. Realizing that this problem was not unique to Lamoine but was shared by several other small towns in Hancock County, town officials considered the possibility of teaming up with some other towns.

Prior to last week’s Select Board meeting, Lamoine officials had a meeting with town officials from Gouldsboro, Winter Harbor, Sullivan, Franklin, Hancock and Trenton.

“We had a Zoom meeting last week,” said Stu Marckoon, who serves as administrative assistant to the Lamoine Select Board. “We all want to do something. We just need to know what the mechanism is.”

Marckoon said the other towns were receptive to the idea of collaboration.

“We’re all in the same boat,” Marckoon said. “We’re all in various stages of need.”

All of these towns either do not have a person in the animal control position, or as in the case of Lamoine, will have a vacancy for the position in the coming months with no replacement lined up.

“We’re losing ours [animal control officer] at the end of the month,” Marckoon said.

Lamoine has also inquired about how animal control is handled in the unorganized territories and if they have similar needs.

After the June 28 meeting, Marckoon began looking into other towns in Maine that have shared animal control agreements in place, to get an idea of how to set up a shared municipal position. Now he has found an agreement that he thinks could be a possible example of how to handle this situation.

“Casco, Naples and Raymond have a three-town agreement that employs an animal control officer,” Marckoon said. “I haven’t looked at it closely, but they say it’s working for them.”

Not all of the details about a shared position have been worked out, in terms of how the officer would be paid, and who they would technically work for, but the towns involved plan to discuss more details as they proceed.

“That all has to be hammered out,” Marckoon said.

The interested towns plan to have another Zoom meeting sometime in early August to discuss the matter further, and come up with some possible plans to proceed.

Malachy Flynn

Reporter Malachy Flynn covers news on the Schoodic beat, which includes the towns of Eastbrook, Franklin, Hancock, Sorrento, Sullivan, Trenton, Waltham, and Winter Harbor. He also reports on the town of Tremont on Mount Desert Island. He welcomes tips and suggestions about stories in the area. To contact Malachy with tips or questions, email him at [email protected].

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