Mar. 5—PARIS — The pieces are falling into place for Oxford County converting its 72-hour holding facility to a full-service jail.
County commissioner Thursday approved bids for food services and medical services, that last two major items required to make the swtich.
During a statewide jail consolidation in 2008, directed by former Gov. John Baldacci, the jail was turned into a 72-hour holding facility. The county boards its inmates at Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset. It cost the county $520,000 in 2020 to board those prisoners. In 2019, that cost was $777,500.
The county budgeted $340,000 to cover the first six months of 2021 until the planned July opening.
The food bid was awarded Trinity Services Group, based in Florida. Trinity provides food services to inmates at the Cumberland County Jail in Portland and to several counties in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
Sheriff Christopher Wainwright said representatives from Trinity visited the jail three times before submitting its bid. The exact cost of the contract still needs to be finalized.
Alternative Correctional Healthcare will provide medical services to inmates. The Brunswick-based company provides services to Oxford County inmates housed at Two Bridges. Their services include mental health and drug treatment.
Commissioners also discussed the job description for an assistant jail administrator the sheriff hopes to hire before July.
"It's absolutely critical moving forward that we hire one," jail Administrator Dana Dillingham said.
Commissioners hope to finalize the description, including pay rate, by the next meeting. Wainwright estimated the salary would run about $60,000.
The board also authorized hiring Kathleen O'Connell as a full-time corrections officer and Amanda Lantagne moving from corrections to dispatch.