Mutual aid proposed for non-emergency services 



MOUNT DESERT ISLAND — Area towns have long had mutual aid agreements that allow their police and fire departments to go to each other’s assistance when called.  

Now the board of the Acadia-area League of Towns has sent to member municipalities a draft mutual aid agreement for non-emergency functions including general assistance administration, tax collection and treasury, code enforcement and plumbing inspection, public works management and animal control. 

“The purpose of this agreement is to ensure the continuity of…essential local government services in the event of a temporary loss of services that may prevent delivery by one or more of the signatories of this agreement,” the proposed agreement states. 

It further provides that the sharing of services “shall end once the temporary loss of services has been resolved, but in no case shall the implementation last longer than two months unless an extension is agreed upon by all signatories involved.” 

Nine municipalities, including all four on Mount Desert Island, are members of the League of Towns. The mutual aid agreement for non-emergency services would be in effect for municipalities whose elected officials vote to adopt it. 

The agreement provides that a municipality that requests mutual aid services would be responsible for paying for those services.  

The idea for a mutual aid agreement for administrative functions stems from an agreement signed last September under which Tremont would “lease” Mount Desert’s code enforcement officer for up to one day a week while Tremont looked to fill its CEO position. 

“Code enforcement officers are in very short supply,” Mount Desert Town Manager Durlin Lunt said at the time. “There are strict certification requirements to perform these duties. 

“Here on MDI, we face not only a lack of trained people but extraordinarily high housing costs. This applies not only to the [MDI] communities, but the off-island towns as well.” 

 

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]

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